Still I work in progress but I am finding the traditional walking poles quite helpful around the place.
Two main risks with them are the fact that these ones are telescopic and not really intended for full weight bearing, such as bearing down while very getting up could induce a fall if each s segment is not firmly locked into place.
Having said that these are only $49 from Anaconda the camping shop in Newcastle New South Wales and not intended as yet for people with Parkinson’s.
The other safety hazard was merely the fact that like all walking sticks they can be tripped over if left in the wrong place. The good thing about these tools is that they come with three sets of endings whatever the word is. Rubber feet to prevent slipping: including some wide ones to help with balance when standing or to prevent slipping on the snow ! Not a problem in my area at this point in time.
The Parkinson’s exercise class Rankin Park use the to help with balance while doing several walking and stepping exercises and I must say gave me a lot of confidence. Another thing I like about them is a clip attached to one pole that the other pole could clip into so that when you do lean them up against something they didn’t fall then roll down on to the floor. That was really helpful.
At this stage I don’t have much trouble or any trouble really with freezing that I am aware of but if I I am hesitant in moving forward just the action of wiggling one or other pole must help in getting the brain to focus on moving forward. I would be interested in here from anyone who tries this.
I have had a couple of really bad days with mobility due to the deteriorating facets and My twisted spine well the polls have been a real blessing. I am not relying on them around the house but being visually impaired as well I find they give me confidence on the uneven ground outside.
I took them out shopping with my helper the other Thursday and I must say she remarked right away how much better I walked with them (and faster without me meaning to). My posture is much straighter. I did get a couple of funny looks but what the heck this is my life. When the chemist I don’t know noticed them I just said in my Scottish accent “Oh I I got lost in the cairngorms”* and she knew immediately what I meant and we laughed!
They weren’t too bad in the coffee shop because I got them together using the clip I’m put them out of the way.
I can telescope them up for transport but as I said I don’t really trust those little dot things that going to the holes to get the height correctly but then I have not been into the shop to have them set up properly and I’m sure they would be happy to help.
They are not obtrusive and slot next to my bed which at night time I have found very helpful because I can grab them and unclip immediatelly by pulling apart then use one or both to get me to the bathroom taking some of the pain out of my back and preventing me stumbling as I turn around to change direction. I don’t need to rely on them every time but they are worth having.
The only downside is that I use my rollater to carry my handbag and shopping and also to sit on while waiting sometimes and you can’t do that with hiking poles! But that is why hikers use backpacks.
If I am with a helper we have a trolley anyway to put things in.
I find the poles Andy for going to the mailbox as far as far as the steps and back. I only use one to leave my other hand tree for the stair rail but it still comes in handy as a balance aid.
I also find one usual when tending my plants in the courtyard so that I can hold on it to straighten up which saves a great deal of arthritic back pain.
Also being able to hold the pole rather than lean on a walking stick is so much better for posture and I feel safer with them. I also have great difficulty with my weaker left arm using a walking stick at the right tempo to keep up with my walking and although the problem is still there, with the poles because I am focusing on the opposite Pole to the leg I am using it seems much safer.
I am not advocating these for everybody and would advise you speak to your occupational therapist before purchasing or perhaps going somewhere for a controlled trial.
But it works for me.
*Cairngorms: Scottish mountains popular with hikers, climbers and skiers – often resulting in rescues!