Thinking of moving from stick to a single crutch. Any advice?

Title says it all really. I have used a stick for years now - both before and after DX. Initially only intermittently but I have needed it more and more as time progresses.

I don’t use it indoors (that’s what sofas and walls are for ) but there is no way that I can walk outside without it now.

Recently I have noticed that I am not so secure and stable on my stick and I am very, very wobbly with it now. Also, I am obviously leaning on it too much as I have developed pain in my shoulder on the side that I have the stick. It is the right height and everything according to an OT I spoke to a while ago and the neuro physio that I have been seeing recently but I think that the time may have come to move on a bit.

I am thinking of getting a funky single elbow crutch like these Loading.... Does anyone have any tips and suggestions?

Please don’t tell me to get an appointment with the NHS OT - here is South Wales I will be waiting 6 months+ for an appointment. (And I am far to vain to have a NHS gunmetal grey one anyway!)

When I felt that a stick wasn’t giving me the support I needed I wanted to use a single crutch. The physio was dead against it because she felt that crutches needed to be used in pairs and that a single crutch would lead to bad posture. Of course I knew better and went ahead with the crutch anyway. After about 3 months I had neck pain and had to admit that I was leaning over to one side.
She suggested I try a walker instead. I didn’t really want to – walkers are for old ladies but I gave it a go. I’m so glad that I did. Stability, somewhere to carry things and a seat for when you get weary.

I only use my wheelchair outside now but I’d be lost without my walker in the house. I haven’t had a fall in over a year now – I wouldn’t be without it.


Thanks Jane. I have seen a lot of people recently using a single crutch so I was thinking that it was OK to use them singly.

I really don’t want to have to use 2 crutches if I can help it. I am a complete klutz so the idea of trying to manipulate 2 crutches AND 2 recalcitrant legs is completely

Onto the very long waiting list to see the OT for me I think.

Mmm, my physio gave me a pair mainly as I was using my stick with my wrong had (you know, the strong one, I am right handed and have a gammy right leg!) and quite simply, I walk better with the crutches

I have persisted with holding the stick in my left hand (the one that’s a bit numb) and actually, it’s now been about a month and it’s ok, I think my left arm has gained a bit of strength as it was horribly wobbly at the start.

I’ve used the crutches twice, for evenings out only i.e. already flagging a bit when I leave the house.

I’m likely PPMS so I’ve kind of assumed that I will rely on things if I give myself and therefore only use the crutches when I really feel I need them. I think I know I’ll use them all the time if I allow myself to use them when I could manage without :wink:

Sonia x

It must be three years that a physio turned me from one stick to two (hip pain from leaning on the stick side) and that (plus a FES has done me up to now.

This week, a neuro-physio had me try a 3-wheel walker. It was totally different. With sticks at the correct length I was getting back pain; lengthen them one notch and it was shoulder pain. The walker gave me some pain in the forearms until we got the height correct, but it transformed my gait dramatically. My impression was that it was a shade slower, but safer

Now there is one on order for me. The idea is that it can fold and live in the boot, and I use sticks in the house. Do note that, unlike Boblatina, I only have one bad leg (and a left arm tremor on the same side).