Forum

Using a stick

Hi all Just after some advice about using a stick. I’m like many others and appear a little drunk when walking so use a stick sometimes when going out for a long time. The problem I’m having is using the stick, when I see others with walking sticks they seem to glide along effortlessly, when I use mine I’m like a baby giraffe! and struggle to co-ordinate my legs with the stick, it doesn’t feel right and I’m sure it doesn’t look good, not that it bothers me what I look like. Being relatively new to ms I’m still finding out all the things that go with it. I saw my neuro a few days ago and he is referring me to a physio so I’m hoping this will help. Any advice you have for me in the meantime will be gratefully appreciated. Thanks. Mick

This may be a silly question Mick but have you got the stick in the wrong hand? Try it the other side and see if that helps. I can’t co-ordinate walking if it’s in my left hand! Physio is good, they’ll put you right.

Hi Val I will try the other hand again, my right leg feels weaker so I keep the stick in my right hand, not sure if this is correct.

Hi Val, I’m sure I posted a reply earlier but it’s disappeared. I use my stick in my right hand as My right leg feels weaker. I will try in the other hand as you suggest thanks.

Hello Mick,is it possible the stick is the wrong size?I made my first stick and people that ‘knew’ said it was wrong,but I have arms like an Orang u Tan and had got the length blob on.You could Google stick length(steady)to see what’s what.

Wb

Hi Mick,

You sound like me with my stick, Ive even fallen over it because my good leg is so unco-ordinated it flayles about and knocks the stick, I also look drunk too. Ive tried swinging mine and shortening it, but been told the right height and now its still the same, so it must be to do with co-ordination.

I do my physio exercises nightly but still have a problem. If you arent bothered by other peoples reactions then carry on. I couldnt walk without mine either but sometimes I swear under my breath because its so frustrating at not being able to co-ordinate the swing with my walk.

Just wanted to say you are not alone so if you find an answer please let me know, cos I thought it was only me with such problems. I now call it my ms walk and my thoughts about my stick are it misbehaves every now and then (:o)

best wishes

bren

Cheers for the advice Wb, I will be careful what I google!!

Thanks Bren, I too thought it was just me! I will let you know if I get any improvement. Val I will try the other hand as you suggest thanks, however the last time I did I had regular trips to the floor!

I think when I was trying out my first one, that attractive NHS model, the physio said to use it in the hand opposite the weak leg. My left leg is the weak one so I have the stick in my right hand. But then I am right handed so I can’t say for sure that this is correct.

Trial and error I suppose. Whatever you need to do to stay off the floor!

My right leg is the weaker one and I carry my stick on the right side to compensate for my leg not being supportive.

I’m with Val on this. I was also told to use my stick on the opposite side to my worst leg. My left side is the worst affected so I used to use my stick in my right hand. Physiotherapist has now told me that one stick isn’t good enough and I must use my four wheeled rollator for short trips. I now use a wheelchair for longer trips, but rarely go out now, so the use of either of these is few and far between.

Good luck with experimenting.

Dawn

Hi Mick,

This is going to be in direct contrast to the Mr. Grumpy’s previous post so apologies for that !! However, my right leg causes aggro so I carry my walking stick in mr LEFT hand.

Because I have to swing my right leg out to the side just to make progress, the stick had to be in the opposite hand to avoid it interfering with leg-movement.

I’m right-handed so it took a bit of time and practise to control the stick with my left hand. Persisted with this arrangement until it eventually became natural.

I’d have to agree with Val, and recommend using the stick on the side opposite your weak leg !

Dom

HI, I’ve tried to use a stick on both weak and ‘normal’ side but I’ve never been able to walk properly and comfortably with it. Physio gave me an elbow crutch and I noticed a difference straight away, with the crutch my movements are much smoother and feel more natural. Sometimes need to use 2 crutches but if I’m only using 1 I tend use it on my weaker left side. As has been said already you need to experiment to find out what’s right for you…

Hi Mick

I was told by my physio that when people use a stick because of a broken leg etc it should lie around your hip. If you use it for balance, which most of us to, the stick shoul be slightly higher than the hip. In between the hip and waist. This really helped me.

Shazzie x

Good info Shazzie - I’ll remember that for my London trip. I was always told to use a stick or crutches (I was a clumsy child so needed crutches quite a bit, mind you not much has changed, I’m a clumsy adult too) on opposite side cause when you walk normally you move your left leg and right arm and vice versa and using a stick on the opposite side aims a normal walking pattern.

JellyBellyKelly x

I know Kelly. I had mine on my hip and she said that that would be ok if I had a leg injury not for balance. It was also making me walk with a stoop. When she highered it I was walking more upright!! That’s a bonus cause my nose isn’t scraping the floor now.

Shazzie xx

My right leg feels weaker than the left one. The physio did some tests and assured me that the reality is that my right leg is the stronger one. Deciding in which hand to hold he stick is problematic!