You might think that you don’t need to learn how to walk with a walking aid, you’d be wrong. It’s not as easy as it looks and it definitely doesn’t come naturally. Here is some information that could be of help.
How to walk with sticks and canes
Many walking stick and cane users buy on their own and although frames and crutches are often provided by a health professional, sometimes the ‘how’ is not always as well explained as the ‘why’.
Here are some basics to get you started. If you’re still having trouble with your walking stick or cane, ask your local GP or physiotherapist for help.
- Decide which side of your body is weakest or has the injury and hold your stick on the opposite side. Don’t worry if this isn’t your dominant hand.
- Put your weight on your strongest leg then step forward using your stick and your weakest leg – they should both move together.
- If you’re using your stick to help with balance, still decide which is your weakest side, place it on the ground then make sure you feel safe before taking a step.
- When walking upstairs, go up one step at a time. Use your better leg first then bring your other leg and stick up to the same step.
- When walking downstairs, do the same. Step down on your best leg then bring your other leg and stick down to the same step.
- Fix a strap to the handle if possible as it helps you keep hold of your stick when you’re not using it.