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Walking Aids

Trekking Poles for Seniors

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Getting Acquainted with Trekking Poles

This is Part 1 of a Three Part Series – Part 2 is Here – Part 3 is HERE

Best Seniors Trekking Poles

Part 1 Getting Acquainted with Trekking Poles

Walking is a great form of exercise for the elderly promoting health, disease prevention and overall mental well being. Despite the benefits seniors often encounter obstacles like discomfort, fatigue and a heightened risk of stumbling. 

To combat these challenges and fully enjoy the act of walking many older adults have turned to using walking poles. These tools not only enhance your walking routine but also engage additional muscle groups like your arms and core to maintain stability and strength.

Physical therapists’ have encountered a wide array of walking poles, and it’s important to note that not all walking poles are created equal. By selecting the walking poles tailored to your needs you can enhance your walking experience by increasing stability and providing support ultimately making your walks more enjoyable and rewarding. 

This comprehensive guide will delve into all aspects of using walking poles while exploring options that may align better with your preferences.

Varieties of Walking Poles

Sturdy Walking Poles

Sturdy walking poles are highly versatile and favored among outdoor enthusiasts for activities, like leisurely strolls, hiking adventures or backpacking excursions. Resembling ski poles in design, they offer added assistance in navigating terrains confidently across various weather conditions.

The main advantage of adjustable walking poles is their reliability since they do not have a mechanism that could malfunction while in use.

Trekking Poles for Seniors
Fixed Walking Poles

These poles come with locking features, for height adjustments. They can be utilized in scenarios as walking poles but offer the added flexibility of customization. You have the option to alter the length to provide support for your joints and stability while walking, on inclines or declines. Among the adults I assist these poles are highly recommended due to their combination of steadiness and adaptability.

Z Style Poles

Z style poles are a blend of fixed and adjustable walking poles. Typically comprising three segments connected by a cord they can be. Disassembled as a single unit. While not the best choice for seniors they still offer enhanced safety. They help reduce strain on joints during walks. These poles are convenient for travel since some models can fold down and easily fit into a backpack.

Advantages of Walking Poles

Pain Alleviation

Walking poles can lessen strain and impact on your knees, hips and ankles easing discomfort from arthritis, muscle injuries and ligament sprains. They prove beneficial, for adults recuperating from an injury by enabling them to walk comfortably while maintaining their fitness levels.

Maintaining Stability

Utilizing walking poles can enhance your stability and balance by offering four points of contact, with the ground of two. This feature aids in preventing falls and boosting confidence during walks for individuals at a risk of falling due to certain conditions. Additionally these poles prove beneficial when navigating through slippery terrains such as gravel, snow or mud.

Conserving Energy

By utilizing walking poles you can conserve energy and combat fatigue effectively by distributing the workload between your lower body muscles. This balanced approach allows for brisker walking without experiencing tiredness while also burning calories through the engagement of various muscle groups.

References

1. Ono K, Nishimoto J, Imura T, Mitsutake T, Inoue Y, Tanaka S, Tanaka R. The effects of walking training with poles on walking ability: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PM R. 2023 Aug;15(8):1026- 1037. doi: 10.1002/pmrj.12886. Epub 2022 Oct 13. PMID: 35943832.(https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35943832/) (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35943832/)

2. Gomeñuka NA, Oliveira HB, da Silva ES, Passos-Monteiro E, da Rosa RG, Carvalho AR, Costa RR, Rodríguez Paz MC, Pellegrini B, Peyré-Tartaruga LA. Nordic walking training in elderly, a randomized clinical trial. Part II: Biomechanical and metabolic adaptations. Sports Med Open. 2020 Jan 13;6(1):3. doi: 10.1186/s40798-019-0228-6. PMID: 31932999; PMCID: PMC6957599. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31932999/)

About Author

Lamia A Kader, MD
Lamia A Kader is a Medical Doctor and a Medical Research Professional with a Ph.D. in Clinical Research. ISMMS, USA. She had enhanced her medical knowledge of medical devices and equipment development and innovation by attending clinical meetings, local national courses, journal clubs, and conferences, in addition to e-learning, subscribing to major medical journals and keeping an eye on latest trends in medicine and keeping an eye on clinical trials industry and healthcare marketing current trends. She had participated in several medical device innovation projects by conducting clinical research studies, developing clinical trial protocols, writing patient safety narratives and “Medical Device Risk Assessment Reports” to transform new medical technologies into real products that save and improve lives. Follow her on LINKEDIN. Read her LATEST POSTS. Learn more about her HERE.

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