As you get older, you may face some health issues. Your muscles may not be as strong or healthy as they once were, and your bones may even suffer from osteoporosis. Walking or even moving around may be more difficult for you.
To counter this, you may need to use a walking stick. Walking sticks help support your weight, and can prevent you from falling and sustaining some serious injuries.
Here are some factors you should consider when looking for a walking stick.
Walking sticks typically come with two types of rubber tips: Single or quadruple.
Single tips help the user to maintain their balance and are suitable for the user to alleviate pressure when walking.
Quadruple tips are able to bear more weight, suitable for users who are less mobile and have severe joint pain.
Quad canes (not to be confused with quadruple tips) are canes that have four branches and tips on each end. As such, these are able to provide the most stability and bear the most weight.
The height of the stick is important. If a stick is too long, the user may feel soreness after a period of time, and if it is too short, the user man apply too much pressure on the stick, and may also develop some back pain from bending.
Here’s how you can measure the ideal height of your stick:
- Put on your usual footwear
- Stand in a relaxed, natural position
- Hang your arms by your sides. Don’t lock your elbows
- Measure the distance from the ground up to your wrist bone. Round off to the nearest centimetre
You can refer to a more detailed guide here.
Walking stick handles are typically made from solid material, such as wood, plastic, rubber, and foam. Hard materials such as wood and plastic can withstand more pressure and are more durable, but you may prefer foam or rubber for comfort.
The handle should be able to comfortably fit inside your hand, although users with arthritis or other joint pains might prefer a handle with a larger grip
Walking sticks are typically constructed out of metal or wood. Metal walking sticks are made from durable aluminium, titanium, or steel, and can last a long time. However they may suffer from rust and corrosion damage if not kept properly.
Wooden sticks tend to be slightly heavier than metal ones, but can be more visually-appealing and have a more natural feel.