Learning to use a stick!

Hi all just been to Pilates and the instructor is a neuro physio which is good! I sometimes feel the need to use a stick at times (which I hate!) but I’ve struggled with it no wonder I’ve been using it wrong! You need to use it in the opposite side from your dodgy leg! No wonder I’ve been walking like jake the peg lol!..I’m off on holiday to lanzarote next wed so feel a stick would be beneficial and maybe ill can walk a bit further…I’ve bought a folding one from amazon it’s a bit jazzy but my 11 yr old daughter is hoping I’m not going to use it as she says its dreadful lol!! do those of you that use a stick find it? Can you walk further? I just feel a bit more stable with a stick BUT hate using one!..thanks Emma x

Hi Emma, I too struggle with using a stick to the point where I try and get by without it, but realise I need it as I’m more stable with it. Interesting that you suggest that using on the opposite side to your weak leg, Ive tried it both sides and it doesnt make any difference so I must be doing it totally wrong! Im waiting for a physio appointment to come through so hoping I can master it then. I will persevere in the meantime and look on jealously at the elderly and others with sticks who glide by effortlessly while I look like Im using an invisible hula hoop ! Enjoy your hols. Mick x

Hi Mick thanks I will hopefully enjoy my holiday once I get over the flying bit!!!..the physio told me just to walk normally(well as normal as you can with ms!) and to use the stick the same way you would swing your arm if that makes sense!..think it’s just practice!..good luck with it…Emma

Hi Emma - I resisted using a stick for ages, but I’m now glad to use one because it gives me some stability when I’m feeling wobbly, and it’s good for leaning on too! Also, I find that I don’t have to concentrate so much on the actual process of walking when I’m using the stick - so yes it probably does mean I can walk further. I bought a folding stick, which I carried around in my bag for ages before I actually used it! Mine is black because I hoped it would blend into the background and no one would notice!!! Of course they did notice - but it’s OK now, I just accept that’s what I need and see it as a ‘helper’.

Have a great hol - and remind your daughter that she would probably be more embarrassed if you fell over, so better to use the stick and keep balanced.

Best wishes, Hazel

Thanks hazel…just think at 43 I’m a bit on the young side for a stick! Lol…but on the plus side handy for wacking people accidentally! Only joking of course!..but it does take a bit of getting your head round it feels like a slippery slope and you look like you have something wrong! A bit stupid I know!! Emma x

Hi Emma

I did kick my stick a few times when I first used it and it got tangled up with my legs a few times, but then I got better at using it. I don’t have a choice of which hand to use it in as my left hand has little feeling and tends to drop things, not ideal with a stick!

I do swing my stick with my arm which meant that when my right leg was the worst the stick was probably not helping as much as it should have but at least it took some of the strain and when I wobbled it was there to keep me upright. Then when my left leg was worst it obviously helped a lot more. It certainly did mean that I could get further than possible without the stick and I felt safer, it took some of the pressure off my bad leg and meant I didn’t tire so quickly. It’s also a visible sign to people that you need a bit more consideration. Not always a bad thing. I’m on the mend now but I still keep it in my handbag as I need it for long distances.

Have a lovely holiday. Please try to put any embarrassment aside - if it helps then it’s worth it. I found it easier to use it initially where nobody knew me and as I gained in confidence it became natural to use it around my home town.

I want to hear all about your hols when you get back - I’m very envious as there’s a definite nip in the air now in this country.

Tracey xx

I kicked it, dropped it and misused it for a good few weeks, then misused it even more by using it to help my rubbish leg push away from the floor a bit better.

I had physio session and I asked her how I should use it … yes, opposite side to gammy leg, I think after 3 weeks I’m starting to gain a bit more strength in my left arm at last. I was a big freaked at the start as it’s my left hand that’s a bit numb too but it doesn’t seem to have caused any problems.

It is painful, I have crutches too and I only use when I’m tired as I do NOT want to get reliant on them

Sonia x