Walking -aid stick or pole hemiplegia?

 hiy al  Im       interested how many of  you  with               a  hemiplegi leg do    mansgeto walk   ? im hetting beter at it. I dlike to sharehis            letter / article " sticking point "  which i write forthe      magazine of physiotherapoats   it      shows how I got  physical and psychologica benefit from ditching my walking stick and  swpping it for a nordic walking pole.   Do  man y folk  mansge or preferwalkibg with a stick ?  or   is   your preference for a pole  ?  I hope that this is interesteing ? I'd like to  do some                  detailed          research as to      what    in real life   most stroke survivivors who like me are semi ambulatory  https://www.csp.org.uk/frontline/article/letters-4-june-2014 




Hi John

 Similarly hemiplegia. I read your article with interest. I haven't ever used a nordic pole, but I can appreciate the psychological benefits of the perception by others. I use a single pont stick, a rather medical looking metal one with an ergonomic handle. I also have a sort of "Sunday best" wooden one which isn't quite so good for balance but looks better! I was a keen long distance walker prior to stroke over 5 years ago now but walking never fully recovered, so I am forced to use a wheelchair for any distance. I still try and walk as much as I can and hold out hope it will improve. But I have occasionally been the object of pity you allude to, looking ancient and crippled, though only in early 60s so hardly ancient.i was once helped over the road by an older woman! That was weird. With poles, do they work for hemiplegia? I thought they came in pairs, I could only hold one as my left arm is not functioning.




Hi Tony  thanks we do sound similar..      for  abou the1st   5 years / post - stroke  couldn't even move round the housewithout my  ' Chapline walking stick. or  touching walls furniture for proprioception but t overtime [ maybe           9 yers   by   perserverence  I      nand  pursuasin of my then-partner I     replaced the stick  with a pole.     Initially ( erly  days my   physio had suggested a broom handle    would be better than the chaplin stick    but  in some      odd  inward sense of ego and self -ID   devaluation I felt that would be  humiliating and degrading    so I kept witth the   trad stick.  Years later      having a clear out    mr partnr and i dicovered an old ski-pole  wihout its   snow basket and we      rammed ( to stiop slips * floordamage ,  a   rubber dog ball [ size of a ping pong or squash ball onto the tungsten tip    and I  use that   for       town-walking   or inside     and   an  original sharp tipped pole for     outdoor  walks on paths grass etc. Yes you  are right I can only use one just as I  can only use one    'Chaplin' stick      so    it was handlythat  i had  the  polesa round already as buying 2 for one [I dont know ifthey can be bought  singly    just googling most  are in pairs  but this I  found asa  single [ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alcheringa-Trekking-Hiking-Walking-Stick/dp/B07C1Q11JQ/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=individual+walking+pole&qid=1630077377&s=sports&sr=1-3 ] obviously I canot endotse   the      deal retailerertc as i dont know it.   With a pole in my  working hand my posture &  stability are definitely better      than      using a walking stick   Idf you try it id love to hear how you get on - may be  shoulddo   a      survey to   progress   this  idea   and spreadtheword ?     I loved  in francewitr bvery  badrwnch   [  hard to lern new languwge with  a brain injury and once an eldrly woman tried to help mecrosthe e road    and iwastrugglingpolitely to saythat I didnt want to cross    at all !!  ;-)   hope  you  begin improving  this year Ive realy had a good go at pushing my range and can now       once a fortnight mansge maybe  2.5 miles on a smooth parth round our local         leisure and       wildlife reserve  lakethoug Im strating a campaign for more benches!!   

As  they say in france

bonne chance,  

bon courage,

Bw, John           


I use a combination. One walking stick and one nordic walking pole......works for me, as where I live is incredibly hilly! I did my first unaided walk along a flat part of our road yesterday, but needed my stick at the end of the road, which meets a hill!


Just read your article... you are so right about the psychological benefits. The nordic poles certainly give me a boost. I enjoyed fell walking before my subarachnoid haemorrhage. I have made excellent progress so far and dream of being able to get on the hills again. Determination keeps me going.



congrats       Fiona  that's fab -          My         paralysis is hermiplegic so  my left arm is 'dead' and only my right arm      can hold a walking aid  etc  in thewelsh vakeys ta where I  am    now it to is very   steepin places -  I prefer going uphil to going down. But then I always did pre-stroke  as a montaineer and runner  anyhow :-)

Thanks for all this John

 If I tryit I'll let you know how it goes

I got some minimal movement in my left hand so may be able to grip a pole handle. Got no action in left arm. But something like this might wake up a neuron or two

 Will keep in mind as something to explore. I m impressed with the 2.5 miles. I can do about 200 metres maybe once a week still got some foot drop issues. But I'm told the best way torelearn to walk is to walk, I can do the basics so I guess just keep on keeping on. Just over 5 years post stroke now, so will just keep plugging away.

Thanks for opening up a new possibility and best wishes for extending your range



Hi, I am 4 years post stroke.  Right sided  hemorrhagic  stroke  which has left me with left  side paralysis.  I have used a number of walking  aids. Started  with a quad stick  in hospital. Transferred  to  single stick upon discharge from rehabilitation  unit. I now walk with  a single stick and an Fes  machine.

More recently  it was suggested  by my neuro physiotherapist  that I try a walking  pole, as she noticed  that  I was leaning onto  my walking stick too much and she thought  the pole would  be  beneficial and would also be better for my posture. I do find that  it keeps me  more upright  rather than  leaning  over to my right.

Recently  I have been  using the pole around the house and the stick if I'm  going out  for the evening  or going  shopping.  I think you should do  whatever  works  for you.

Regards Sue 




Dear Prof John

I started this response to your post yesterday but when I attempted to return to it today it had disappeared, so here goes again. I had a right middle cerebral artery stroke in January 2020, at age 74, which affected my left side. I left hospital eight weeks later, still unable to walk, despite regular physiotherapy. It was the beginning of the first lockdown so it was a couple of months before I received community physiotherapy but within a few weeks, I was walking with the aid of a quad stick and a splint on my weak left leg for my footdrop, albeit with poor gait and posture. All was going well until in October 2021 I was told I had plateaued and discharged from their care. I felt a little abandoned although I was grateful for the help I'd received from them. I continued with the exercises but felt I really needed input from a professional so looked for some private neurophysiotherapy and commenced sessions with Manchester Neurotherapy Centre in April this year. It's a 40-mile round trip so I have one 90-minute session per week. After the initial assessment, the rigid splint was replaced with a Boxia AFO. I was told the aim would be to progress me from the quad stick to a hiking pole and then on to a single point stick before eventually walking without aids. I've purchased a pole but haven't used it yet in session. To be honest, I'm scared of it. The quad stick is so much more stable; I lean on it too much - I've always been told  I put  far too much weight through my right side. I wonder how I can overcome my fear; I'm afraid unless I do the anxiety will hold me back. At the suggestion of my physiotherapist I've just had a DEXA scan to check my bone density. I badly fractured my right ankle five weeks before my stroke. My physiotherapist would like to start work on my left arm but if I am osteoporotic, she would need to proceed with caution.

I was really very interested to read your post and article and also the other responses you've received.  I'd never before heard of anyone in our position using a hiking pole and can easily understand the psychological benefits is using one as opposed to a walking stick.

Look forward to reading more on the subject.

With best wishes,

Anne S xxx


Hi is hiking pole same as those walking poles? What success are folks getting ref balance and strength?