Help with walking


I’ve just been diagnosed with several osteoarthritis in my left shoulder. I’m also waiting for a right hip replacement. Because of this I find walking difficult and painful and use a stick in my left hand as advised, but the pain in my shoulder is getting increasingly bad and I’m finding holding my stick hurts. Would be so bad to use the stick in my right hand instead to help with walking? I know it’s a stupid question but I don’t want to do any more damage to anything. Thankyou.

All the best to everyone,



  • sunnyside2
    sunnyside2 Member Posts: 131

    Ideally you would see a physio to get advise but I know that can take some time.

    I have right knee arthritis and should use my stick on the left... but I also have a dog who walks on my left and I don't want her walking on my right as she thinks it is funny to body slam my arthritic right knee. so when I walk with the dog I use my stick on the 'wrong' side. It takes a little practice to get it in step with the bad joint but it works for me.

  • AnnR
    AnnR Member Posts: 52

    Thankyou sunnyside2. Yes, it does take a long time to ask individual professionals which is why I always ask here. Everyone is very helpful.


  • AnnR
    AnnR Member Posts: 52

    Is anybody in a professional capacity able to answer my above question about my walking stick.


  • Hello AnnR

    Thank you for your posting on the forum. I am sorry to that you have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in your shoulder and that the pain from this is increasing. I understand from your post that you are waiting for a hip replacement and that holding a stick in your left hand is increasing the pain in your shoulder when you walk and have asked if you will do more damage if you use the stick in your right hand instead.

    It is understandable that you would want to ask if using the walking stick in your right hand would be appropriate. We would always encourage people to speak to a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist who is trained in this area for further guidance as they can advise on the best ways to use them. This is something that a physiotherapist could advise on, or an occupational therapist who can advise on making everyday tasks much easier. I am aware that it can take a long time to see a professional but they will be able to provide you with tailored advice and a physiotherapist would also be able to provide you with exercises for your shoulder that may help your condition. You could speak to your GP about referrals to these professionals. You could also speak to your GP for advice on pain relief for your shoulder. I have put a link to our information below where you can find information on managing Osteoarthritis of the shoulder, including exercise, pain relief and treatments.

    Osteoarthritis of the shoulder

    You may also find the following general information from other organisations useful. We have no control over the contents of these resources and are unable to guarantee their suitability for you, but we hope they’re helpful:

    NHS - Walking Sticks

    I hope that this information is helpful. If at any point you would like to talk things through informally and in confidence about your arthritis, you are welcome to call our Free Helpline on 0800 520 0520 weekdays 9am – 6pm.

    Best Wishes


    Helpline Advisor

  • AnnR
    AnnR Member Posts: 52

    Thankyou Dawn, your answer is helpful. My biggest problem is speaking to a physiotherapist. Here where I live a person has to self refer, and get a form from the surgery, not very easy. Before I was diagnosed with my shoulder arthritis I was just told to do the exercises on YouTube! Sometimes I feel out on a limb, but I think I will contact your Helpline. Thankyou.


  • pmas
    pmas Member Posts: 43

    Hi AnnR

    I self referred online a week ago. I had an email to say that the referral would be reviewed the next day. The next day I received another email to say that they had referred me to the Community Team who would contact me in due course. Next thing I knew I had a telephone call from the Community Team to make a telephone appointment THIS Friday! I was amazed at the speed of their response, please give it a go. Good luck.