Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, who was diagnosed with MS aged 20, has recently been trying to remove some of the stigma around walking sticks by talking on social media about how she uses hers. We asked our Facebook community for their advice to people who have just started to use a stick.
They are an enabler. You can buy some really funky ones to match your outfits. Also I prefer ones that have some ‘spring’ in them to act as shock absorbers for the hands, wrists, arms. Some have different ‘feet or paws’ for different terrain. Key is to get them the right height for your needs – Sue
You just gotta do what you gotta do, it’s nobody’s fault, it’s a tool to aid your mobility, if people judge you for having it, it’s THEIR perception problem. I’ve used a stick for about 13 years (I was about 25 and my youngest son was 3). I’ve been in a wheelchair and gone to a desert island (Tangalooma, Australia). You just need to keep moving forward, and don’t let what others think put you off using something to improve your life – John
I find using my stick makes me feel a lot less vulnerable. I am less likely to fall over and my “drunken” swaying reduced. I walk a bit faster. It’s also a bit of a shield: if I do bump into people, they’re a lot more understanding when they see the stick – Harriet
If people can’t see you past the walking device that’s their problem, you’re the same person after all. I have a bright pink walker and love it – Terri
We MSers probably all dislike it but just keep positive. Without my stick I’d be a crumpled mess on the floor...United we stick – Caroline
I made my walking stick and crutches personal. I used colourful sticky back to cover them and make them really cheerful – Chris
I look at my stick as an aid so I can do the things I want in life and make things a little bit easier” – Ashley