Improving upper body workout:
"Using walking sticks requires lifting the stick, placing it ahead of you and helping support your body's weight with your arms as you move. Over the course of a long walk, this can be a good workout for your arms and shoulders, helping you burn more calories as you exercise. You shouldn't find yourself exhausted while using walking sticks, but the Mayo Clinic says the stick will increase the intensity of your workout."
Back and Joint Health:
"Walking sticks help redistribute your body's weight--instead of all your weight coming down on your back, hips and knees, walking sticks displaces some of your weight from your back and lower body and supports it through your arms and the stick itself. This can reduce wear and tear on your joints and muscles, which can help people with arthritis or back problems. Walking sticks also foster proper posture as you use them, particularly in your upper back. Proper posture helps distribute weight evenly and safely, reducing your risk of injury and improving your back health."
Improved Stability and Balance:
"When you walk over trails or other uneven surfaces, various obstacles or objects can make it difficult to maintain your balance, such as when you are going uphill, walking on soft or loose dirt, or stepping on rocks as you walk. Walking sticks help stabilize your body and reduce your risk of falling or slipping. The sticks also assist on hills by providing stability, especially as walkers become fatigued and their muscle strength and stability becomes less reliable."
One way walking sticks can benefit you is that when you are walking and using walking sticks, instead of the weight coming down on you hips, back and knees the weight id passed thought the walking sticks as well. This can help people with arthritis or back pain, because of the walking stick the weight is not but on to the back or joints.
Dr Odole stated:
“Arthritis is a disease of the joint and if you have problems with your joint, you must find ways of protecting that joint. Using the walking sticks is one of such ways of protecting the joint.”
“What we know is that in the society we live in, people stigmatise when they see people using walking sticks. It is not supposed to be. There is no big deal about walking with stick because it is for health purposes. It is a kind of medication, so to speak, because it helps to assist weight bearing joints.
“So whether a young person or an elderly person is using walking sticks, such should not be stigmatised. If some people can use it as a status symbol and people do not."
Many people rather have walking sticks or canes that fold up or adjusted so that they are easy to store away when there are not needed any more. Some umbrellas also have adjustable shafts and an added walking sticks handle that converts them intro a walking stick umbrella.
Dr Odole stated:
But “just any walking sticks will not be appropriate. The appropriate walking sticks would be determined by the height and physique of the individual and the grip must be solid and manageable, not slippery or too big. Also, the ferrule, which is the top or bottom of the walking canes, should be covered with rubber to provide better stability,”
In 2011 a study was published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, there were two groups of patents studied and in the experiment the experimental group had walking sticks and were instructed to use them. The other group the control group also had walking stick but it remained with the researchers for the months of follow up:
"The two groups were carefully assessed for level of function, anti-inflammatory use, pain level, general health, and energy expenditure while walking with and without walking sticks or canes.
During the first month of stick usage, the patient overall had an increase in energy expenditure as they became accustomed to the cane. However, with time (and by the second month) those who had been assigned to use the walking sticks had less pain, improved function, less energy expenditure while walking, and less medication use.
This study demonstrated that adaptation to walking sticks, by reducing the weight load on the affected joint during gait, reduces pain following the walk test, so suggesting that a walking sticks is a tool that can help reduce pain, improve function, and enhance aspects of quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis."