Most of us take walking totally for granted and don’t give a second thought to getting out of bed in the morning and rushing about to get ready for the day ahead, this is normal behaviour and is carried out in millions of homes throughout the country, but, what if something happens to a person’s mobility.
Lets say in all their hurrying they miss the bottom step on the stairs or trip over something that has been left on the floor and sprain or even break an ankle thus rendering them disabled for a period of time.
Then there are the people who are not so lucky and feel pain with every step they take, perhaps they have arthritis or any of the many disabling conditions which cause them to have to use walking sticks or crutches to aid their mobility.
Of course, there are people out there who would love to be able to walk no matter how painful it may be. But in this blog, I would like to concentrate on the walking stick and crutch users.
A walking stick or crutch is a great aid but can do damage if it is not sized correctly to the individual’s needs. It is a good idea if you are purchasing a stick from a retailor that you ask them to size it correctly for you.
Making sure you have the correct size walking stick
If you have to size it yourself you should turn the walking stick upside down on the floor and put your hand straight by your side, where the stick meets the knuckle on your wrist is the correct length for you so mark the stick and cut off the excess, simple exercise but you may need someone with you to help.
There are other walking sticks like crutches which have a series of holes and a notch which you put through one hole to find the correct position. As with the above you should measure the stick is the correct length for you.
With crutches it is a good idea for your occupational therapist or physiotherapist to prescribe the correct length stick for you.
You should check the ferule at the end of the stick to be sure it has not worn away as if it has it can cause the stick to slip. If this happens the user may fall over and do even more damage to themselves. Most mobility shops will sell ferules – they cost very little but take the stick with you because there are several different size ferules available and you will need the correct one.
If your stick is the correct length for you then your posture will be in the correct position to enable your mobility to return to you as soon as possible after your injury or in the case of long term mobility problems to lessen the pain.
There is a wide variety of walking sticks to choose from some of which are very collectable, some are fun, and some are utilitarian. Whichever you choose good luck – I hope you feel better soon.