Guide to using a walking stick
Grip: make sure it feels solid and manageable, not slippery or too big - the IQ Stick comes with a removable soft cover.
Shaft: the long part of the stick – height adjustable on the IQ Stick.
Base: the tip or bottom of a walking stick is often covered in rubber to provide better stability – the IQ Stick’s base contains removable metal plates for improved stability and stands unsupported.
Check the length: to select the proper length for a walking stick, stand up straight with your shoes on and arms at your sides. The top of the stick should reach the crease on the underside of your wrist. If the stick is a proper fit, your elbow will be flexed 15-20 degrees when you hold the stick (while standing).
If your stick is too small, you'll need to bend over in order to reach it. If your stick is too big, you'll need to lean over onto your (injured) side in order to use it. A perfectly adjusted IQ Stick will keep you upright whilst providing support.
Hold the stick using the hand that's on the same side as your good leg. If your left leg is hurt, you should be holding the stick in your right hand. If your right leg is hurt, hold the stick in your left hand. (We stride with our feet and swing our hands at the same time. When we stride with our left foot, we swing with our right hand; when we stride with our right foot, we swing with our left hand. Handling a stick in the opposite hand to our injury replicates this natural arm movement, giving your hand an opportunity to absorb some of your weight while you walk.)
If you're using a walking stick for better balance, consider putting it in your non-dominant hand so that you can continue to use your dominant hand for everyday tasks.
Start walking. When you step forward on your bad leg, move the stick forward at the same time and put your weight on them together, allowing the stick to absorb more strain than the leg. Don't use the stick to step with your good leg. As you become accustomed to the stick, it will ideally feel like a natural extension of yourself.
To walk upstairs with a stick, put your hand on the banister (if available) and place your stick in the other hand. Take the first step with your strong leg and then bring the injured leg up to the same step. Repeat. The IQ Stick has a stair guard, making it safe to use on open style stairs.
To walk downstairs with a stick, put your hand on the banister (if available) and place your stick in the other hand. Take the first step with the injured leg and the stick at the same time and then bring down your strong leg. Repeat.
Click on this quick guide to see the correct height for your walking stick.