Does anyone have any advise on the use of walking poles/which type to get? I have been advised by the physiotherapist to invest in some to improve balance and enable me to walk a little further without giving myself a bad back and headache due to being lopsided (my right like tires after a few yards a I start with the ‘drunk look’. )

I have had a few different makes and they’re all good. Honestly, I don’t think it matters too much which ones you go for. There are some very expensive one, but they’re still only hiking poles and not possessed of magical properties (at least I assume they aren’t, not having actually tried the expensive ones!)


They do help you to maintain an upright stance, so improve gait and worth a go. The ones made with aircraft aluminium are light and strong, otherwise I don’t think the make is terribly important.

These might give you some idea of what’s available.

i got mine from a sports shop.

they are brilliant and they don’t look obviously like an aid for the disabled.

i took mine to festival number six and they were a lifesaver!

carole x

Thanks - that’s cheered me up - I’m really looking forward to giving them a go now.

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I bought a Flipstick last year. It might not be what you are looking for but I find it very practical. I use it for balance and in situations where I can’t get a seat. It can be folded up in my work bag or rucksack, and has got a seat on the top. Great for taking a rest to recharge or just in social situations when everyone else is standing.

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I used walking poles a few years ago when my walking was still reasonably good. The ones I used had shock a absorbing base. They did wonders for me and similar to Whammel above, they kept me upright improved by gait. They also improved my walking style by lengthening my stride and the legs wanted to follow the arms, if that makes sense. They also increased my confidence as effectively I was walking on all-fours and I didn’t feel like I was going to stumble and rarely did.

they also improved my well being. It sounds silly but walking with the poles made me feel more “normal” than using a walking stick or crutches. I felt more athletic and like Chris Bonnington when using the walking poles!

So get your poles, get your iPod, stick headphones in your ear, sing loudly and badly, walk proudly. Everyone will stare at you, because of the singing, but who cares! Enjoy it.