Walking stick

Walking stick

:"Walking stick" may also refer to a stick insect, of the Order Phasmatodea, which uses camouflage to resemble a stick or twig."

A walking stick is a tool used by many people to assist walking. Walking sticks come in many shapes and sizes, even leading some people to collect them.

Hemiplegic and balance-impaired persons use the stick to give them a better sense of the vertical position, thereby lessening vertigo. Without the stick, it is easy to walk at an angle, and perhaps not move in a straight line. The stick is held in the stronger hand.

Muscle-weakened persons (with reduced strength or nerve action) need a stronger weight-bearing stick to take some of the load normally used by the afflicted leg. Canes are generally used in the hand "opposite" the injury or weakness. This may appear counter-intuitive, but this allows the cane to used for stability in a way that lets the user shift much of their weight onto the cane and away from their weaker side as they walk. Personal preference, or a need to hold the cane in their dominant hand means some cane users choose to hold the cane on their injured side [http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/devicesandorthotics/qt/WalkingwaCane.htm] . Also serving this purpose are walkers, which are held in front of the user and allow the user to lean heavily on them.

Walking sticks, also called trekking poles, hiking poles or hiking sticks, are used by hikers for a wide variety of purposes: to clear spiderwebs, part thick bushes or grass obscuring the trail; as a support when going uphill or a brake when going downhill; as a balance point when crossing streams, swamps or other rough terrain; to feel for obstacles in the path; to test mud and puddles for depth; and as a defense against wild animals. A walking stick can be improvised from nearby felled wood. More ornate sticks are made for avid hikers, and are often adorned with small trinkets or medallions depicting "conquered" territory.


* The most common accessory, before or after purchase or manufacture, is a hand strap, to prevent loss of the stick should the hand release its grip. These are often threaded through a hole drilled into the stick rather than tied around.
* A clip-on frame or similar device can be used to stand a stick against the top of a table.
* In cold climates, a metallic cleat may be added to the foot of the cane. This dramatically increases traction on ice. The device is usually designed so it can be easily flipped to the side to prevent damage to indoor flooring.
* Different handles are available to match grips of varying sizes.
* Rubber ferrules give extra traction on most surfaces.
* Nordic walking (ski walking) poles are extremely popular in Europe. Walking with two poles in the correct length radically reduces the stress to the knees, hips and back. These special poles come with straps resembling a fingerless glove, durable metal tips for off-road and removable rubber tips for pavement and other hard surfaces.

Ecclesiastical use

In the Eastern Orthodox Church and some of the Oriental Orthodox Churches an ecclesiastical walking stick is used by bishops, archimandrites and hegumens (abbots) when walking outside. It is usually made of dark wood and is straight, rather than having a curved handle. The walking stick used by bishops and archimandrites is normally adorned with a silver grip at the top and a metal ferrule at the tip. The walking stick used by an hegumen or hegumenia (abbess) is normally of plain wood, unadorned.

The walking stick is not used in any liturgical context, except to the extent that when a bishop is formally received at the beginning of the service, he will carry it as he walks into the church. An altar server will usually take it from him when he enters the narthex and return it to him when he leaves at the end of the service.

ee also

*Nordic walking
*Trekking pole
*Pace stick

External links

* [http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/1/3/7/0/13708/13708.txt Walking-Stick Papers] (Robert Cortes Holliday, 1918) - Project Gutenberg ebook
* [http://ejmas.com/jnc/jncart_barton-wright_0200.htm Self-Defence with a Walking Stick] (Pearson’s Magazine,January 1901)
* [http://www.walking-stick.net/acatalog/history_of_sticks.html History Of English Walking Sticks]
* [http://physicaltherapy.about.com/od/devicesandorthotics/qt/WalkingwaCane.htm Suggested cane technique]
* [http://www.walking-stick.net/acatalog/Measuring_a_stick.html How to measure a walking stick]
* [http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw2aknkli88 YouTube film of walking stick manufacture]
* [http://www.brazos-walking-sticks.com Handcrafted Walking Sticks]
* [http://www.walkingisraelis.com/Nordic%20Walking%20Poles.htm Nordic Walking Poles]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Walking stick — Walking Walk ing, a. & n. from {Walk}, v. [1913 Webster] {Walking beam}. See {Beam}, 10. {Walking crane}, a kind of traveling crane. See under {Crane}. {Walking fern}. (Bot.) See {Walking leaf}, below. {Walking fish} (Zo[ o]l.), any one of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • walking stick — walking sticks N COUNT A walking stick is a long wooden stick which a person can lean on while walking …   English dictionary

  • walking stick — ► NOUN ▪ a stick with a curved handle used for support when walking …   English terms dictionary

  • walking stick — 1. a stick carried when walking; cane 2. any of various elongated, wingless, phasmid insects resembling a twig, esp. a North American species (Diapheromera femorata) feeding on plants: also walkingstick n …   English World dictionary

  • walking stick — walking ,stick noun count 1. ) a stick that some people use to help them walk 2. ) AMERICAN a green or brown insect with a long thin body that looks like a stick …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • walking stick — n a stick that is used to support someone, especially an old person, while they walk = ↑cane …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • walking stick — noun 1. a stick carried in the hand for support in walking (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑stick • Hyponyms: ↑cane, ↑supplejack 2. any of various mostly tropical insects having long twiglike bodies • Syn: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • walking stick — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms walking stick : singular walking stick plural walking sticks a stick that some people use to help them to walk …   English dictionary

  • walking stick — noun 1》 a stick with a curved handle used for support when walking. 2》 (also walking stick insect) North American term for stick insect …   English new terms dictionary

  • walking stick — walk′ing stick n. 1) a stick held in the hand and used to help support oneself while walking 2) ent Also, walk′ing•stick Also called stick insect any of several insects of the family Phasmatidae, having a long, slender, twiglike body. • Etymology …   From formal English to slang

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