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The many uses of walking sticks

Updated on November 11, 2013

A walking stick, a pole, a third leg or another leg

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The use of walking sticks, staffs and polesFinding your walking stick
The use of walking sticks, staffs and poles
The use of walking sticks, staffs and poles | Source
Finding your walking stick
Finding your walking stick | Source

Walking Stick in ancient fables

There is a riddle about the walking stick:

The Sphinx (Strangler) continued lurking outside Thebes, demanded passers by to answer a riddle:

'Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it is?'

The Sphinx strangled and devoured anyone unable to answer.

Oedipus resolved the answer:

Man - who crawls on all fours as a baby, walks on two feet as an adult, and walks with a cane in old age.

The walking Stick as a symbol of Authority

The Ancient Prophets had long robes, long beards and a walking staff. The staff was a symbol of authority. It also had another use, that of assisting mobility. It was used to walk over uneven surfaces and used for one to gain stability as they negotiated paths and trails up hill.

Moses had a stick and it is this that was used to swallow all the snakes during the show of power between the Egyptians and God (Exodus 7: 8-12). It is the same stick that he used to strike the rock from which water gushed ( Exodus 17: 1-7). It is the same stick he held high over the waters to make way for the fleeing Israelite.

The walking stick is also called a staff. Jesus Christ is many times referred to as the Good Shepherd and the staff is never far away from him. This staff is used to prod, lead and guide the sheep from straying.

Moses used his staff to lead Israelite from Egypt

See some of the places where the walking stick was used.
See some of the places where the walking stick was used. | Source

The Walking Stick and its uses

1. To provide firmness when standing

2. To take weight off the limb joints

3. It can be used as a white cane by the blind

4. To prod animals

5. To guide animals

6. For defense

The Walking Stick Today

The walking stick has been modified today to be used during winter, mountain climbing, sheep rearing, goat rearing and by pastoralists. It is used as a lean on for support, for firmness in those who have pain in joins and those who are bent. It helps many to not tip over and fall.

There are differently decorated walking sticks that are fashionable and are accessories to the cultural dresses. This is seen in various countries from China, Japan, Burma, India, Bhutan, Australia, Indonesia, USA, Canada, South America, Europe and Africa.

There are many uses of walking sticks besides the ones we have seen above. They can be used in self defense especially those that have disguised sharp edges or are so sturdy to be used as a cane. This is seen in stick fighting mostly.

The walking stick takes the weight of painful knee joints, hips and the feet most of the time. People with painful lower joints use the walking sticks to help them move about.

Some rulers use the walking stick as part of the fashion and symbol. Some paint the sticks or decorate them with totems or insignia of their party or ruling organization.

The Walking Stick as logo

It is used together with a coiled snake as an Aesculapius Rod or Hermes Caduceus. These are the badges or logos of healing and health.

Different uses of walking sticks

Traffic/ Mobility
Walking assistance
Blind use white stick
To prod animals
Lame and disabled persons
To check by tapping continuity of ground
To guide animals
Senior people for perambulatory purposes
Some uses to which sticks can be put

The Walking Stick

What are some of the uses of a walking stick you know of?

See results

Case Scenarios

1. Jane is senior woman of about 76 years. She was formerly a teacher and served in that capacity for 45 years. Most of her work was done on her feet. She has pains in her knee joints and her therapist recommended 100 steps each morning and another 100 in the evening. She tried exceeding these steps one day when she entertained the friends of her children. They had all come to her place for her 75th birthday. The following morning she could not bend her legs no walk at all. She called a neighbor who came over to her place to help her move about the house. That was a year ago. She now sticks to her set walking paces. She uses a walking stick on which she puts all her weight as she walks. In winter she has a mountain pole with a larger grip and a pointed end. This is pierced in the ground thereby ensuring no sliding. She uses special soles with rubber and non slip features.

2. Adam is a retail shop owner who has run a family owned shop. He does more sitting now and manage the counter. He hired two assistants to help him move through the aisles to assist the clients. This has helped him avoid being on his feet. Even while he is seated, he moves his legs and toes to stretch the fascia, tendons and other muscles. He registered at the near by gymnasium. He does exercises every Wednesday and Friday. These exercises have helped him tone his body and at the same time watch his weight also through managed feeding. At home and in the shop he moves about using a walking stick. It helps him stay firm and steady.


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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The many uses of walking sticks great hub about walking sticks interesting and useful indeed.

    • Tom Mukasa profile imageAUTHOR

      Tom Mukasa 

      5 years ago from Lives in USA

      juneaukid and craftytothecore, I do thank you for the support. I got inspired about this story after seeing an anniversary party being made. Everything seemed so fine, the planning and calls to the guests to commit. It was supposed to be a surprise for a grandmother in this family. One thing was missing though. The steps to the big house were the party was supposed to be were so high. The granma could not climb them and they had not equipped the house with the wheel chair friendly platforms. The venue and therefore the party were changed. We are yet to hear of another date and venue. The cane, the walking stick or wheel chair should never be underestimated.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      5 years ago

      After I was paralyzed, I upgraded from a walker to a cane. Having that cane was a really big help to me as it was nearly impossible to get around without it to lean on. I've noticed some really nice whittled ones from wood online.

    • juneaukid profile image

      Richard Francis Fleck 

      5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      An interesting and useful hub


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