Able Medilink is a leading provider of high-quality mobility aids that is committed to supporting mobility and enhanced independence. Located in Melbourne, we support individuals with a wide range of mobility issues both locally and Australia-wide.
One area we specialise in is supportive walking aids. If you are in the process of choosing a walking stick for the first time or seeking a better alternative to one you currently use, we can help.
Understanding the importance of walking sticks as more than just visible, physical support, we help match you with the right one for utmost stability and boosted confidence.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the different types of walking sticks available and how they can improve both your safety and quality of life.
The Physical Benefits & Purpose Of Walking Sticks
Walking sticks, also sometimes referred to as walking canes, help to create stability while standing or walking.
This additional support reduces the risk of falls and injuries which in turn may encourage increased physical activity in those living with mobility issues.
They do this by providing an extra point of contact with the ground and distributing body weight more evenly.
By reducing the pressure on arms and shoulders, walking sticks can also lead to improved posture and balance which are key to fall prevention.
Walking Sticks & Chronic Conditions
It is important not to view walking sticks as simply for the elderly, there are many reasons to use a walking stick and many have very little to do with age.
For individuals living with chronic conditions such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and weak joints among others, a walking stick can make physical activity less of a challenge.
Continued movement often plays a vital role in maintaining mobility in these instances. By using a walking stick this can be achieved without a high risk of further injury and with reduced discomfort.
Types & Styles Of Walking Sticks
There are several different types of walking sticks to choose from with variations in style, purpose and material used in construction.
These include but are not limited to:
Wooden Walking Sticks
Strong, durable and environmentally friendly, wooden walking sticks are typically made using chestnut, ash, hazel and oak timbers.
Able to be easily trimmed to size, they are a classic, timeless option that is well-suited to a variety of users and mobility needs.
Aluminium Walking Sticks
Super lightweight and incredibly strong, aluminium walking sticks usually feature a telescopic adjustment option for convenient and easy height changes.
Available in a wide range of colours, this option allows users to match their stick to their personal style.
Folding Walking Sticks
If you do not need to use your walking stick all the time or travel a lot, choosing a foldable option is ideal.
Made using aluminium, these sticks can be pulled apart into 3 or more sections and folded. A strong internal elastic holds all the sections together and helps to snap them all back together when unfolded.
Swan Neck Walking Sticks
Featuring an angled shaft directly beneath the handle, swan neck walking sticks centrally transmit weight for added stability.
Best suited to users who lean heavily on their walking sticks, this design also helps reduce wrist and hand fatigue.
Tetrapod Walking Sticks
Available as a tetrapod (3 legs) or quadruped (four legs) this style of walking stick provides maximum stability.
With multiple touch points on the floor, this stick stands up on its own and won’t slip away from you like a traditional style can. Made using aluminium, this option is also designed to be easily height-adjusted.
Seated Walking Sticks
Making it easy to rest while out and about, these walking sticks fold out into a tripod with a seat.
The additional feet are not in contact with the ground while walking and the seat folds flat to the shaft of the stick and locks in place when not in use.
This style is ideal for anyone who needs to rest frequently or wants to be able to spend longer periods out walking without worrying about where they can comfortably stop.
Psychological Benefits Of Using Walking Sticks
Not only a valuable tool for reducing fall rates in those with mobility issues, walking sticks facilitate boosted confidence and enhanced independence.
This is especially true for older adults who may have fall anxiety from past experiences or reduced upper body strength leading to poor balance.
The Role Of Healthcare Professionals In Choosing the Right Walking Stick
There are several factors to consider when choosing a walking stick, including body weight, height, upper body strength and mobility level.
Without a deeper understanding of how to match your needs to the right walking stick, it is easy to end up with the wrong one.
This can increase the risk of falls rather than reducing them while also making it uncomfortable or impractical to use.
For this reason, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional when choosing any type of walking aid.
They will assess your needs as a whole and ensure you have a walking stick that ticks all the boxes for safety and comfort, allowing for years of good use.
Able Medilink – Supporting You To Be Safely Mobile
As we’ve outlined above, adopting the use of a walking stick can have such great physical and psychological benefits.
Through use of a walking stick you can become more active, self-assured, less reliant on others and free of the anxiety that comes from fear of falling.
While this decision can be confronting for some individuals and feel like a step backwards in terms of independent mobility, there is so much to be gained.
As a professional healthcare equipment provider, the team at Able Medilink understands the need for empathy, respect and collaboration when selecting a walking stick.
We work closely with you to find a walking stick that meets your unique needs and preferences for optimal mobility outcomes.
Experience the comfort, confidence and freedom that comes with using the correct walking stick Contact Able Medilink today at 03 9557 9038.