What Is The Difference Between A Walking Cane And A Walking Stick?

There seem to be a number of urban myths when discussing the difference between the two items. A lot of this depends upon where in the world you live or were raised. I know that when growing up, I only ever referred to them as “walking sticks”. I suppose this was because my parents did the same, and maybe I passed that on to my children.

But there is a difference, and it really is quite simple. A walking stick is a support aid that can be used for everyday activities such as moving around the house, the garden, or maybe walking on uneven ground. Whereas a walking cane is designed to relieve pressure on a joint or area that is causing you pain.

Both are excellent for people who wish to move around independently without waiting for others to help them. They give a much-needed lift in self-confidence when used correctly.

Those already suffering from debilitating back pain will know how important it is to raise your level of self-esteem and increase your confidence without having to constantly rely on help from friends and relatives.

So, the main difference between a walking stick and a walking cane comes down to what function you want it to do. A cane will last longer and will give you more comfort. A stick will give you support but is probably not the answer to helping a bad back.

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Walk?

There are a number of reasons why this can happen, and it could be a single problem or a combination of ailments. The most common are:

  • Posture
  • Weight
  • Incorrect Shoes
  • Discs
  • Hips
  • Inactivity

The first thing to consider is what your spine does. It has two main functions

  1. It is the support column that actually supports your body.
  2. Its’ flexibility allows you to carry out a multitude of movements.

And so it stands to reason that it can easily be disturbed by the stress and strain of everyday activities and workload. Your spine is also the main hub of your nervous system, and so any pain in that area will feel magnified, sometimes to a point where you can barely withstand the agony.

And so when you are walking, if your body is out of alignment, you naturally try to compensate for this by redistributing your weight. In other words, you may lean to one side, which although giving temporary relief, ultimately leads to muscle and back pain. This may not seem like anything to get uptight about, but over time the stresses add up. So to compensate for this, a walking cane really is a good thing to use.

What Are The Benefits Of A Walking Cane?

As stated above, canes support you by allowing you to improve your balance and posture. Used properly, they will allow you to support yourself and allow you to walk that little bit further without becoming so exhausted. Although many people use canes following surgery, they are not exclusively made

for that purpose. They are equally excellent tools for those who simply suffer from the occasional twinge.

And so it’s fair to say that a cane used correctly can improve both your mobility and stability. This brings us to…

What Is The Correct Way To Use A Cane?

Most people eagerly await the delivery of their new cane and cannot wait to give it a try. But before jumping into the deep end, it is wise to consider the reason or reasons you bought it in the first place. After all, the last thing you want to happen is to cause yourself further injury just because you were over-enthusiastic. I recommend that you take a look at a site called Classy Walking CanesThe reason I say this will become clear when you see the range of subjects that are covered. Apart from offering an excellent choice of canes, all of your questions will be answered. I particularly advise you to look at the drop-down menu entitled “How To”.

Subjects covered include:

  • How To Size A Walking Cane
  • How To Use A Walking Cane
  • How To Choose Type Of Walking Canes
  • How To Figure Weight Restriction On A Cane

In fact, I would suggest that every question that you may be contemplating will be answered here. It really is a good read.

So simply click here to start on your journey towards pain-free walking: Classy Walking Canes

















  1. Thank you very much for this valuable and detailed post about the difference between walking cane and a walking stick. Actually you are right we mostly use walking sticks. I have seen my grandmother use it. But according to your post, if you walk using a cane, you can walk very easily. I will definitely share this post. Keep posting like this.

  2. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m getting to the side of life that includes more creaks and aches, but I have noticed more and more people with walking sticks lately.  I have never really contemplated the difference between a cane and a walking stick, but your summary makes a lot of sense.

    I guess the one thing I was thinking of during my read was if a cane can also help to strengthen the muscles and overtime make the need for it fade some.  I’ll definitely be checking out the website.  Thanks for your post!

    • Thanks, Shannon. The site I direct readers to is a mine of information. Join the club (including me) who have started to look at life a little differently 🙂

  3. This was a great read!  My husband is younger than most would think for someone needing a walking cane, and sometimes it’s hard for us to find helpful information since he is so young.  He was injured in the military and has a lot of back pain from it.  I sent him this post for him to read.  

    Thank you for your content! 

    • Thanks, Rebecca. I do hope my article helps your husband and assists him on his road to recovery. With kindest regards, Michael.


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