this image shows a collection of stunning walking sticks

How to use a walking stick correctly

this image shows a collection of stunning walking sticks

How to use a walking stick correctly

Do you know how to use a walking stick correctly? Consequently were you aware there is a right and wrong way to use a stick?  Using a walking stick incorrectly could increase the risk of falling or cause injury to another part of your body.

Setting the Right Height

To start using a walking stick correctly to need to ensure your walking stick is the right height for you. This will reduce pressure on your shoulders, arms and wrists.  The way to measure this is to stand with your arms relaxed by your side.  Look to see where the bone on the outside of your wrist falls in relation to the walking stick. The top of the handle of the walking stick should be a the same height as

The opposite side 

There is a tendency to use the stick on the same side of your injury, weakness or pain. However, this means you may be leaning heavily on the stick and increasing the pain on that side. One of the stages of understanding how to use a walking stick correctly is to know you use the stick on the opposite side. In doing so this allows you to shift the weight of your body more to the non-injured side.

Using your stick correctly

  • As you step forward, the stick and the opposite foot should hit the floor at the same time. You should then swing your uninjured leg through. This takes some practice as at first it might feel like having since it  three legs! However, walking this way will produce a smooth and even gait which will reduce stress on the rest of your body.


      • When using stairs with a walking stick, remember this saying: “Up with the good and down with the bad.” When you step up, use your good leg first, follow with the stick and lastly Your leg on the painful side.


    • Keep your back as straight  as possible. It’s OK to place weight on the stick but try to not lean too far to one side or forward. When  your are walking, don’t swing your stick out any further in front of you  than your leg would normally reach. This prevents you overextending your arm.

      Practice makes perfect. However, I am not a fan of the walking stick. I am definitely more in favour of a good quality wheeled walker or rollator. I find them far more stable. They encourage an even distribution of weight and have a seat so you can take a break.


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.


  1. Are you familiar with Flexyfoot walking canes and ergonomic ferrules ?

  2. This is one of the few areas where people go wrong. Most people are ignorant about this. When using a cane the posture and other factors as mentioned has to be maintained to avoid injuries in future.

  3. These are very useful points, especially for those of us who do not actually need to use a walking stick and will not have considered them. It enables us to pass on these tips to other people who do need them.

    Thank you, Caron

  4. Hello Rob,

    Many thanks for contacting me at Caron Cares and for pointing out a mistake in one of my articles. This was a genuine error and I am so grateful for you noticing it. I would have felt awful if someone had fallen as a result of my mistake,when the whole purpose of the site is to help the elderly.
    Very Best wishes

  5. Your paragraph Walking Properly with a Stick surely has an error.

    “As you step forward, the stick and the opposite foot should hit the floor at the same time. Then swing the injured – don’t you mean uninjured – leg through… ”

    I’d change it before somebody falls over and sues.


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