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Walking Aids

Neuro Café 18th May 2022 by Linda S

See the slides in LEGS Members' Area for details.

What are Walking Aids?

Anything which improves walking patterns, balance or safety while allowing you to move independently. There are a huge range to choose from. You can test these out in mobility shops.

Why use a Walking Aid?

Walking aids can

  • help with walking and mobilising independently

  • increase stability and confidence

  • give awareness to people around you so they may slow down or offer help

  • help build endurance

  • reduce breathlessness.

There are various types of crutches and techniques to use them. Please see slides.

Walking Sticks

  • There are different types of walking sticks and they need to fit you.

  • As a guide, your wrist bone should be level with top of the stick.

  • You could use Nordic Walking poles to encourage you to stand higher.

  • Sticks with 3 or 4 legs will help stability.

  • Places like the Complete Care Shop have a range of aids.

  • Nordic walking poles may be worth a try: they are lightweight, help to activate core.

A close up of a woman's hand holding a red pole. She is wearingn a green ghaki jacket and grey t shirt. The background is out of focus but you can tell she is in a place with trees and it is sunny
Nordic walking

Accessories for walking sticks

  • Holders and magnetic holders are available

  • Lights/lasers can help to guide you

  • Try Metal spike- like crampons for ice and snow

  • Often these are in nice colours

  • A Flexyfoot ferrule can be useful.

Indoor walkers

There are many different types. A Kaye Walker is a walker which supports you from behind .

Outdoor walkers

A walker can help keep you upright and feel safer walking outside.


- Seat, brakes, basket

- Adaptations such as having brakes to one side.

The Remap charity can help ensure the walker is right for you, with accessories, weighted frames, caddies.

An elderly man walks with the assistance of a woman in blue hospital scrubs in an large grassy garden. He is leaning on a walking stick with a wheelchair position behind him.
Walking stick

Safety checks

  • Check maximum load

  • Check for damage, wear and tear

  • Is there any Influence on your waking posture from your walking aid?

Comments from LEGS people

I hired a mobility scooter on holiday but after a while found I lost some ability to walk. It can be difficult to get around if you do not drive a car.

I have a rare kind of MS and as t teenager I did not want to use aids. I kept falling with no warning, got up and was fine. However, 2 years ago I fell, glasses went in my eye and I nearly lost my vision. So I started using a stick which has changed my life. It has given me more confidence & independence

I used a walking stick and was able to move from inside to outside. The stick was carefully measured at the hospital. I had a Flexyfoot ferrule which was very useful. I also found an interesting sword stick but discovered it was illegal!

I used a standard walking stick on the tube and it was so slippery I nearly fell. A Flexyfoot ferrule helped stop it from slipping and also provided some shock absorption for my hand

We all need to tune in to our own health beliefs. What is right for one person won't necessarily work for another. Equipment use can be affected by our emotions and what we need as individuals.

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