Why I love my walking stick

I often see older patients (and sometimes even younger ones) with lower limb dysfunctions, who resist using a walking stick for support — choosing reduced mobility and pain instead — with the misplaced belief that avoiding using one makes them more tough and hardy.
Obviously they look at it as a “dependency”, a sign of weakness and disability.
But what if you look at a cane as an instrument of “independence” and ability? After all, mountaineers carry one (and sometimes two) to enable them to overcome the obstacles they face on treks.
Look at what a cane can do for you:
1. If you are allowed to walk but are unable to walk much because of pain in the knees/ankle/hip, a cane will help you to walk more distances by taking the load off the painful limb or joint.
2. If your gait (walking pattern) is altered because of very weak leg muscles or because you are protecting a painful area in your leg, just using a cane will help you to walk straighter and in the long run prevent damage to other joints of your body.
3. If your balance is poor, or if you often tend to hold on to a wall or furniture, a cane might help you prevent an unnecessary fall and injury, as it will improve your balance.
4. If you have lost your independence after your injury/disability, you can regain it if you choose to use a cane, especially when going outdoors for work or pleasure.
5. Gaining confidence and mobility will improve your psycho-social health; and increasing the distance you can walk will help control weight and other systemic disorders. You will do more, see more of the world, and be more useful to those around you.
I used a trekking stick when I trekked the high mountains. Then an unfortunate accident on one of my treks has left me with an excessive weakness in my left leg.
I use a walking stick now, on my long walks either here in Mumbai or for sight-seeing on holidays. Without a stick I would not be able to walk more than half a kilometer, and if I did, I would end up with back and knee pain. With a stick, I can easily walk fifteen kilometers every day, without a hint of pain.
My stick sets me free, makes me independent, empowers me, and keeps me safe.
I love my walking stick!

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