Using a Walking Stick or Crutches

Using a walking stick or crutches for the first time can feel daunting. Whether you’re recovering from an injury or dealing with a chronic condition, learning how to use these mobility aids can be challenging. However, with a bit of practice and some helpful tips, you can become a pro in no time.

First, it’s essential to choose the right mobility aid for you. If you need help deciding which one to choose, you can talk to your doctor or physical therapist. They can help you decide which mobility aid will best suit your needs. If your injury requires you to get around without putting any weight on your leg or foot, then crutches may be best suited for you. In contrast, a walking stick may be helpful for those who need increased stability or have an injury that allows for partial weight-bearing movement.1  

Once you have your walking stick or crutches, it’s important to adjust them to the correct height. Having your walking stick or crutches at the right height will make it easier for you to move around and reduce your risk of falls. When standing up straight, the top of a walking stick should reach the crease in your wrist, and the top of a pair of crutches should be about 1-2 inches below your armpit.2

Next, it’s time to start practicing. The first few times you use your walking stick or crutches, it might feel a bit awkward or uncomfortable. That’s okay! It takes time to get used to these mobility aids, so don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t feel right at first. Start by practising on a flat surface in a safe and quiet environment.

Here are some top tips for learning to use your mobility aid:

  • If you are using a walking stick, always move the stick first, followed by the weak or painful leg3
  • Don’t place your stick or crutches too far in front of you or too far out to the side3
  • Ensure your arms are secured in the cuff if you are using crutches4
  • If you are using crutches, move your affected leg forward with the crutches and step to or through with the other leg4

Remember to take your time and move slowly and steadily. This will help you to maintain your balance and reduce your risk of falls. Learning to use a mobility aid takes practice, so don’t worry if it takes a while to get the hang of it. If you’re having trouble using your aid, don’t hesitate to ask for help. Your doctor or physical therapist can give you tips and advice on using your aid properly. You can also ask a friend or family member to help you practice.

If you’re struggling with mobility, using a mobility aid can make a huge difference in your life. Mobility aids can be helpful for both short and long-term issues, such as helping an injury to recover or increasing independence with getting around. If you find yourself needing to use a walking stick or crutches, don’t fret. With these tips, you’ll be able to move around more comfortably and confidently in no time.

You may also have back pain, but this is not usually as bad as the pain in your bottom, legs or feet.