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Walking Sticks at HAD

HAD has a large range of walking sticks available to meet every occasion! However, apart from being a fashion accessory, walking sticks are classified as a device to aid mobility and safety, and, as such, must be appropriate for the individual using them.

Walking sticks help by expanding the users “base of support”. This means that they can help people who are prone to mild balance problems by adding a “third leg”. They can also take some of the weight of the user but are not meant to take all of the weight. Sticks do have a maximum user weight and, as with all equipment, the user should ensure that they are within that limit.

Things to consider when purchasing a walking stick

What is the user’s weight? All walking sticks will have a maximum user weight.

Which hand will the stick be used in? Not all sticks can be used in both hands. In general, if somebody has a problem with one leg the stick should be used in the opposite hand.

What kind of grip is most suitable and comfortable? Walking stick handles vary in size and shape. 

Do you want your stick to fold away when not in use? 

Will the stick be high enough?

What is the height of the intended user? 

Measuring for the correct height of a stick

  1. The person using the stick should stand in an upright position, facing forwards with their arms relaxed by their side.
  2. Measure from the base of the wrist to the floor. This gives the recommended height.
  3. Once the stick is adjusted, check that the height is correct by asking the person to walk with it. If their shoulder on the side of the stick is “pushed up” when it is used, it is probably too high. If they lean sideways towards the stick, it is probably too low.

Most sticks can be cut to size if they cannot be adjusted. If you are able to visit our equipment centre, we will happily do this for you free of charge.

Have you been advised you need two walking sticks? These will need to be slightly longer than the measuring procedure given above as they will be placed in front of you when you walk.

A walking stick is only as good as its ferrule (the rubber grip on the base). If this is worn then the stick will slip on some surfaces and it cannot be relied upon. Check your ferrules frequently and replace them when the grip is worn! These can be purchased in our online shop.

 

HAD Occupational Therapists