New to the Group

EatPrayLove Member Posts: 3
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:11 in Living with arthritis

Hello, I am new here and wanted to ask how do you all make the decision whether or not to use walking aids? I have arthritis in hips and knees - but do I take to using a stick to help me walk, or does this weaken the remaining strength I have? What have you found? Thankyou. It is good to be here to be able to ask questions such as this.


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 873

    Hello @EatPrayLove and welcome to the online community,

    It’s great that you are pleased to be here and ask questions - all our members live with some form of arthritis, have a great deal of experience and are very happy to share their stories and offer support and advice.

    Walking is so important to maintain flexibility, mobility and to strengthen our joints and muscles, as well us keeping us independent and increasing our well-being. If a walking aid helps you to continue to walk, or enables you to walk a little bit further or with more stability, then it certainly should be considered.

    Other forms of exercise can also help with hip and knee pain, so I’ve linked to the Versus Arthritis website below which has some great exercises you might like to try:

    Do let us know how you’re getting on,

    Anna ( Moderator)

    Need more help? - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • Fran54
    Fran54 Member Posts: 169


    I too have Osteoarthritis in my hips and right knee and questioned myself if I wanted to use a walking stick. I found back in the New Year that I was walking slower and limping more and lost confidence in walking out on my own. After my knee was also giving way I went out and bought a walking stick and now would not be without it. Using it has given me more confidence when I am out shopping and I recently went on holiday and did more walking than I usually do so it was a great help. I do physio exercises most days and I think this helps to strengthen the muscles around the weaker joints. I felt a bit self conscious to start with but now have more confidence and also people are quite helpful in holding open doors and letting me get on the bus first.🙂

  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,023

    Use the walking aids rather than stop walking any day @EatPrayLove

    If you can though I'd get assessed by a physio because it's easy to have your stick at the wrong height and inadvertently make things far worse. Have a look at this NHS leaflet:

    Also a walking aid can alert others to the fact that you might need extra space and time.

    Take care


  • Thankyou for this. I think my reluctance is due to the psychology of it all. I am able to walk unaided, but do not get out of breath because I walk slowly and this impacts then on my cardio. So am beginning to accept that sticks, or crutches will help overall.

  • Wenwoo
    Wenwoo Member Posts: 16


    I use my walking stick as and when need it or if I go out on my own for confidence, I also have a zimmer frame for as and when. If you need theme use them to help.

    Wendy x

  • jonr
    jonr Member Posts: 358

    Hi @EatPrayLove,

    I'm not in the same position as you as I am actively mobile but I totally understand this is a psychological as well as a practical decision for you.

    I'm very fortunate in being able to lead a very active life despite the need for a double total knee replacement due to bone-on-bone OA. When planning a big hike up a mountain in March this year I thought about some form of walking aid to help me over the tough bits. I settled on a pair of Swiss Walking Sticks which have a wide range of adjustments, are light, don't sink in grass and best of all - I look like a pro hiker, not someone with a crippling condition. Might be worth a look - I bought mine in Mountain Warehouse and 2 are better than one (whether you get these or walking sticks) as your weight is more evenly distributed.

    Good luck!


  • Woofy
    Woofy Member Posts: 215

    agree with others on here. I hated the thought of using a stick, then I had a couple of falls, I lost my confidence, and got quite down about it all. Then I thought, what is so terrible about using a stick if it gives you a little bit more freedom, and a little more stability. I now take my stick with me, because it helps me stay mobile.