Walking stick anyone?????

Today, Viv over on VasculitisUK shared this article from the Guardian.


I thought others might be interested - because too many fight the fight against starting with a walking aid of any sort. I remember how grateful I was for my crutches when I needed them for some months - if I needed them again I wouldn't hesitate.

57 Replies

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  • Yep, I associate with article's author.

    I have a retractable/fold up - whatever you want to call it - one. It's quite jazzy - as you would imagine! Don't use it as much as I should do probably - vanity๐Ÿค” Maybe, because it a bloomin' nuisance at times, handbag over left shoulder - doesn't work on right, and I always feel I'm back at school if I have a cross-over body one.

    Now just found out using stick in wrong hand! If it's โ˜”๏ธ raining another hand required! Nightmare!

    Perhaps I'd better admit defeat -goes against the grain though - and embrace my new best friend. As the writer says it does have some compensations - most people are more considerate! Plus I've still got my eye patch, so I reckon I'm a shoe-in for Long John Silver come next Panto Season - ooo arrrr Jim lad! Now where did I put my bandana?

  • AND you have the right accent...

  • That's right m'dear!

    Or maybe I should branch out and try for Pirates of the Caribbean! Move over Johnny Depp!

  • Go for it! You would be an improvement on him these days!

  • Gee thanks ma'am, that's a back-handed compliment if ever there was!

  • Didn't mean it backhandedly... Sorry!

  • No need to be sorry, I took it as you meant! As you say, the written word doesn't always come across correctly. I forgot my emoji ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

  • You two are making me giggle this morning.Thanks ladies! ๐Ÿ˜„

  • All part of the service ma'am! Can't get through the day without a giggle- some days easier than others.

    Take care.

  • I would love to know how you get a stick from the NHS when I asked my GP about a stick or crutches she said "We don't do them"!! and could not tell me how I could get anything.

    I find using a stick means people are really helpful, I am just amazed at the help I get. I should have got one years ago.

    I have packed in a handbag unless I want to be posh and stick everything in my pocket! Credit card, a ten pound note and car keys.

  • Have you seen those body-warmer type things that fishermen wear? They now do them in more attractive designs for travelling - pockets everywhere...

  • I actually do have a gilet, well two in fact, that are pretty good!

    Interestingly enough it was not showing vulnerability to others that stopped me using a stick, it was admitting to myself I actually needed one. I obviously don't care what others think, that is their problem not mine. Obviously showing my arrogance!!

  • I think that is the biggest problem to be honest - but then you get the family members who can't cope with the idea that mum/dad needs the aid. And the fuss some of them make is downright selfish!

    Having needed crutches in the past - I discovered how useful they could be, even once I didn't really need them I carried them on walks. It took away part of the worry about getting stuck somewhere! And awfully useful for queue-jumping...

  • No, just being sensible...oh dear did I really say that! Something I try very hard not to be ... much too grown up.๐Ÿค”

  • No - I don't really "do adult" either...

  • I have been using a cane on and offf for quite a while for hip/back problems and didn't mind really.....but recently I have begun to go for walks in a nearby park and have to use a walker....I am sad, angry, embarrassed...... and find it very difficult to accept.....even though as my walking friend reminds me, at least I am mobile (but today I'm not โ˜น๏ธ) and for that I am thankful....but I am really hoping for things to get better....


  • Sad I can understand - but anger and embarrassment, not really. You are still walking on your own two feet - unlike a lot of younger people who would probably be able to do the same if they lost some weight (not all, just some). But they have fancy electric go-karts - probably subsidised by us.

  • Yes, all true....but I lost my looks, my shape, my brain, all my hardcore activities and now I can't even walk....I know....Cry .Me a River ๐Ÿ˜Š....things will look better tomorrow โ˜€๏ธ


  • Hey that's an idea an electric go cart to pop into Sainsbury's on ,!!

  • I have been using a walking stick for many a year due to two hip replacements, and for a while I needed two sticks. Since meeting my current nemesis, PMR and GCA, I am using two sticks any time I am in an area larger than my living room. I had a wheeled walker for a while but now have graduated to the two sticks - the two keep me balanced because both my legs are wobbly. I am in my fifth month since diagnosis and hope this fragility will pass in time. Long live my wonderful walking sticks that keep me safely mobile!

  • I started with a very snazzy folding stick and felt as if I has a great big piece of spinach in my teeth! But it was all in my mind and the stick helped.

    Then I degenerated and got a 3 wheeled walker. ( bought it myself), then I graduated to a 4 wheeler with a seat! Alsp bought by me! I got a wheelchair ( bought by me) and my daughter loves pushing me around! ( role reversal?) lol.

    A year ago I invested in an electric mobility scooter. Best thing I ever did. Unfortunately they are expensive and I got one with hard tyres and no suspension, not good on our rough pavements when suffering from PMR, RA amd Osteo! The resulting next day pain was awful. Then I was told that neing severely disabled I qualify for a scooter on motability. It is gorgeous, I called it Arthur Itis and he costs me ยฃ22.00 a week. Bargain! I can get out and about at last. I had to stop driving my car so Arthur is a godsend!

    Really what I am saying is don't feel daft for getting disability aids. And if anyone can't afford it, then get help from the motability companies which are there to help!


  • Dear All,

    Here's my two pennyworth. I've used a walking stick on and off for some forty years long before I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis. I've been prone to damaging my left leg and need help to get about. An operation on my left knee made additional support necessary. The spine bone fracture in 2016 made using two absolutely essential to enable me to get about without stumbling. I made the mistake of only using one to start with and I'm sure that I used it in the wrong hand, and my strange gait caused the pain to go on longer.

    At no time did my GP or my Klinefelters Consultant offer any advice on how I should use the walking sticks, which I'd purchased privately.

    The general publics attitude was a revelation. Ladies much younger than me picked up my sticks if I dropped one, many offered to open doors when I got close even though I said I can manage I always smiled when declining their help because I'd developed tricks to manage doors. Cars actually slowed when I needed to cross the road, but I made a point of looking towards the car saying thank you even if though the driver couldn't hear me.

    Don't be afraid if you have to use one they are essential to make movements more comfortable but ask the provider to demonstrate their correct use.


  • How to use a walking stick correctly:

  • Have been using it right all along! Whoopee do, that's a first!

  • Hi all, read the article with interest. I used to work in the care sector and saw loads of bad use of walking aids. I also noticed that posture was affected by both using an aid wrongly and not using one at all when it was really needed.

    I am now 55 have PMR and been on Pred since March 2016 and just back up to 15mg as having a flare. I also have various other joint/back problems. I have now shamelessly embraced the full range of walking aids.

    Rarely a day goes by when I don't use my sparkly blue walking stick. Some days I need my athletic looking Nordic walking poles (blue again). Can't use crutches as my shoulders won't support my weight. Got to be the slowest Nordic Walker on the planet! Then, if its a really bad back day, out comes the all singing, all dancing, all terrain rollator with its handy bag and very useful seat (beautiful blue again). I find using this keeps my posture upright and redistributes my body weight (there's s lot of that) and I can rest anywhere to give my back a rest. Particularly useful in shop queues as shops don't seem to have any seats these days except my pharmacy of course where I have a reserved seat and they give me my drugs in a (free) carrier bag :)

    Then, for the days I wanna join in with my friends on walks in park or bigger shopping trips I have a mobility scooter which comes apart to fit in my car boot. I call this my cloak of invisibility as I immediately become invisible to the naked eye as soon as I get on this :D And in case you were wondering it's red......for danger doncha know :)

    OK so the point of this ramble (ha!) is to say that I am still able to stand upright in good posture and I am not afraid to use whatever I need to help me get about. It used to be my folding bike and my electric bike which are waiting for the day I can ride them safely again. I am mid flare so haven't been on either of my bikes since Easter Sunday :(

    I am lucky that part of my work involved mobility aid training so now I need the help I am able to use what I know to help myself. I couldn't imagine being stuck indoors 24/7 so all these things help maintain a good quality of life. Isn't that's what its all about and heck maybe one day this will go away and I might be back to teaching my exercise classes, playing golf and cycling for miles (kidding myself if course) but until then I cherish my walking stuff and enjoy brandishing my stick like Diana Trent the fearful character in Waiting for God!

  • Absolutely S4ndy! I've had 2 periods where I had decided if I didn't improve pretty soon I was getting a scooter. The desire was rekindled recently when OH was in a right state of breathlessness - GP had reduced his diuretic but all that did was let the fluid get to his lung instead of his feet. However, returning to a higher dose did the trick thank goodness.

    I met a Canadian in the village last summer - having a wonderful mountain holiday with his packaway scooter. He gave me the card - which now resides in my sunglasses case so when we do need one I know where to look!

  • Hi PMRPro, I have noticed that scooters have become really popular in my village, we have quite a high average age! There is one person who drives round as if she is in a formula I racing car.

  • I want one....

  • I would report her. There are rules for riding motability scooters and only a certain size is allowed on pavements with a limit of 4 mph permitted. The bigger ones are for Road use with a limit of 8 mph, which is very fast if used on pavements where pedestrians don't see you!

    Banish the menace! ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜ฃ

  • She does not use the pavements!!

  • Crikey ! She must be very brave then. Even though it is allowed to, I wouldn't go near a road in mine. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ*shudder* and we are not even required to wear protective headhear! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

    Oh well, each to her own eh piglet?

  • I live in a quiet village so you can get away with it to a certain extent!

  • So do I piglette. I wonder if we are unbeknownst neighbours! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

  • Hardly a quiet village if people are playing F1 with mobility scooters...

  • We must have some excitement!

  • Love it. That's the way to approach life!

  • Sandy, isn't it incredible how the "invisible woman on scooter veil" draws down each time you exit the safety of your house? I need to find out why. It was the same when I used the shopping scooters at Tesco or Sainsbury's! People simply don't see us. I now have a great big silver and orange machine, and guess what? Yup, I am even more invisible!

    If it wasn't so dangerous to life and limb, I would laugh my head off! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜œ๐ŸŒท

    PS! Why are they called scooters?.

  • Thinking of putting a cucaracha air horn on mine :D

  • I find I have days when I am apparently invisible on the roads - and that's just driving my fairly large metallic steel blue VW Passat with the headlights on...

  • Loved the article, although it relates more to my 91 yr old mother who is legally blind and has heart conditions. But she should be using a walker due to balance problems, but fights tooth and nail against it! She does however use her cane. She is still a fall risk however and it is worrisome......

  • Do you ever call them 'canes'? ....never heard of walking sticks in Canada (except for the big insect) ๐Ÿ˜„


  • Not any native Brits I know! Canes are for the garden to support your plants or caning naughty children in the old days ;-)

  • PMRpro....I learn something every day....here it's a cane if just used for regular walking ....but walking stick might be used to describe a substantial piece of wood used in difficult hiking trails....


  • Now there I would say walking or hiking POLES!!! Although the old fashioned sort my grandfather carried, a stout pole that was longer than the sort you use in the situations we are talking about, would have been a stick I think.In fact, for many years he used a shepherd's crook when out walking.

    I've just found this site:


    and they seem to make the distinction that canes are more decorative - and say "The silver plate and novelty collectors canes are suitable for light balance and support only, they are not suitable for regular heavy orthopedic use."

    I wouldn't ever have thought of carrying one for show - a rolled umbrella maybe but not a simple cane!

  • PMRpro, nowadays the poles conjure up pictures of the thin metal poles used by us Nordic walkers! I think the word "hiking" whether with pole or stick would describe the more arduous activity!

    As someone, maybe Oscar Wilde, said, Britain has everything in common with America, except the language. Canadians tend to be fairly bilingual and understand both US and UK, and have our own dialect!

  • The 'cane I use is steel and very strong, has to be, as I lean a bit too heavy on it sometimes...

  • Hi DoraLouise, that is an interesting thought. A walking stick conjures up the image of an old person staggering along, like me!! While with a cane I envisage a smart young man probably of a century or two ago. My father had a lovely decorated cane with a silver and ivory (aghhh) top, which we called a cane not a walking stick.

  • Absolutely - the sergeant-major with the cane under his arm...

  • Fred Astaire danced with a cane like that.

  • Exactly, Doralouise. For example a visually disabled person walks with a white cane, not a white walking stick!

  • Exactly, first time I've heard of a walking stick....and I found it strange in the video how it is held....a cane has a handle to hold...


  • No chance! Cane is what the Americas' call them. I actually do have a very smart stick which is cane! Lol but would never call it a cane. One day I asked my daughter to pass me a stick and she asked "which one " and I said "the cane one". ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

  • Although now off pred t i still don't feel right my legs are so stiff they do ease up during the day but very painful going upstairs. Have now been told I have angina and will possible need a stent !! How lucky can one girl (old girl) get? Sure there are many worse off than me so won't moan anymore.

  • You'll have to live up to your name!!

  • You could be as lucky as me Perkey, I had a triple bypass and that day was the only "lady" to be prescribed one! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  • I have come away to Spain with friends for a week but my legs just won't work properly can't crouch down etc. Could do with my crutch but what a nuisance that would be. Thought I would lie and get a tan but got burnt ankles and swollen ankles and knees not pretty and I used to goa lovely golden tan the envy of my friends. My legs have stiffened up although I am trying to walk a lot should I be I wonder. I am off pred now . Any distance I get a taxi I feel a failure. As I moanedon before I have bee n diagnosed with angina recently so walking far not an option. I am not really a moaner and enjoy a good laugh (mainly at myself) I am sure most of you out there are suffering far more so I will shut up and trust the swelling will go down soon. Good luck to you all

  • Hmm - sounds as if rather than being OFF pred you could do with a bit!

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