Using a Walking Stick or Cane for Back Pain

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Using a walking stick for back pain

Several years ago, I started using a walking stick for back pain when I was recovering from spinal stenosis.  In this post, I will discuss my experience using a walking stick and share how this helped me get around a little easier.  If you struggle with back pain and are looking for a good way to be on the move, please keep reading.

I have been dealing with back problems for about 20 years.  Late in 2015, I was doing some stupid things at the gym and I blew a disc in my lower back and sprained my pelvis. I spent the first 6 months of 2016 recovering from that injury.

I had spinal stenosis which put me in a position where I was bent over at about a 30-degree angle at the waist, thus I was not able to stand upright.  Sitting was okay, and sleeping in the fetal position on my side worked well.

After month recuperating, my wife and I desperately needed some time away.  I had not been able to do much of anything for months and I was stir crazy.  In mid-April 2016, we decided to take an extended weekend trip to Palm Springs, which is about a four-hour drive for us.  Driving a car was fine, since that position was comfortable for me, so the trip over was pretty uneventful.

At this point in my recovery, I was able to get around by riding my bike since leaning over the handlebars allowed me to maintain the bent over position of stenosis.  Palm Springs is a very bike-friendly city, so we loaded up the bikes and headed out.

Walking any kind of distance was still very difficult and the best way for me to do so was to literally walk like a monkey.  I was bent over at the waist with my arms hanging low toward the ground.  Sounds like a great time to take a vacation right?

I could also swim and the hotel we stayed at had a pool, so that was a bonus.  They also had lounge chairs, which once again allowed me to relax in a position that still kept me bent at the waist.

Our hotel was really close to downtown which was nice.  But the problem for me was walking.  I could walk about 50 yards then I needed a break.  I could power through it if I had to, sometimes even leaning on my wife’s shoulders to help me out.

Yes, we could (and did) ride our bikes all over town, but not necessarily on the sidewalks downtown.  We quickly decided that I needed another solution.  Enter the walking stick.

Walking stick for back pain

How to use a cane for lower back problems

It’s kind of funny that neither one of us had ever thought about me using a walking stick.  Downtown Palm Springs has a LOT of different kinds of shops and we were just milling from one to another when we noticed some hand carved wooden walking sticks.

My wife is always on the lookout for cool and different décor for our house, and she spotted this bin of wooden walking sticks.  Honestly we never even really thought about a walking stick for me to use until I pulled one out of the bin.

The stick that I was interested in stood about 5 feet fall.  It was just the right height to give me something to lean against when I needed a break.  We bought the walking stick and away we went.

I have to say, this was a good investment for me at this point in my recovery.  I was even somewhat able to keep up with my wife through downtown Palm Springs.

I definitely got some looks as I was walking up and down the streets, but I didn’t really care.  I would also find a bench and take a break now and then, but the walking stick sure helped me out.

I even got to the point that I would take the wooden walking stick on bike rides, holding it across my handlebars.  That way when we would ride to dinner, or somewhere else, I would have the stick to help me get around.

Using a walking stick is actually pretty easy. You simply walk with it alongside you to help take some pressure off of your back. You shouldn’t rest your full weight on the stick, but rather just take a small percentage of the pressure off of your back. The best way to get started with a cane or walking stick is simply to bring it with you while you’re walking and use it for a few hours. You’ll start to get the hang of it and figure out how to make it most beneficial for you.

The best cane for back problems

If you struggle with back pain, you might consider investing in a wooden walking stick. Of course, there are many different options to choose from, but the one that I purchased worked well for me.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Brazos Trekking Pole Hiking Stick for Men and Women Handcrafted of Lightweight Wood and made in the USA, Hawthorn, 55 Inches
1,538 Reviews
Brazos Trekking Pole Hiking Stick for Men and Women Handcrafted of Lightweight Wood and made in the USA, Hawthorn, 55 Inches
  • COMFORT:  The convenient wrist strap provides a secure grip
  • SAFETY:  The rubber tip at the bottom of the walking cane provides traction on multiple surfaces with a firm secure grip
  • LUXURY:  Each Hiking Stick is handcrafted from solid wood and contains exquisite detail with a smooth polished finish.  Each stick is handcrafted in the USA by skilled local craftsmen
  • SIZING RECOMMENDATIONS:  For small children and shorter adults, we generally recommend a 41-inch stick;  For people shorter than 5’4″, we recommend a 48-inch stick;  For people between 5’4″ and 5’11”, we recommend a 55-inch stick; For people over 5’11”, we recommend a 58-inch stick.
  • WOOD TYPE: Hawthorn, also known as Carolina Hawthorne finishes with a rich brown bark and a yellow center. Every piece of Hawthorne is meticulously chosen, prepared, cut, sanded and given our distinctive twist
Bestseller No. 2
SE Natural Wood Walking Stick with Hand-Carved Spiral Design and Knob Top, 55' - WS622-56BH
435 Reviews
SE Natural Wood Walking Stick with Hand-Carved Spiral Design and Knob Top, 55" - WS622-56BH
  • Hand-carved spiral design and knob top
  • Weatherproof finish on body
  • SE-designed steel spike with reinforced removable rubber tip cover for excellent traction on dirt, ice, or snow
  • Height of the walking stick: 55"
  • Used for walking in your neighborhood, hiking on trails, dirt, packed surfaces, snow, and more

Using a walking stick was not something I thought of in the beginning, but it sure makes sense.

Have you used a walking stick for back pain?

Let me know in the comments section below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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