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Living with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)

Walking/hiking poles

I fear, I was awfully late in copping on to the advantages of these and that probably most of the rest of you use these, but just in case you don’t, permit me now to wax lyrical about them.

I bought my first pair last weekend. The Leki ones and indeed the ones with a handle on the top as walking as if holding a bottle of water in each hand is a little sore for me, so it’s useful to have a change of hand position too.

Primarily when I walk I suffer hip cramping and spasms which can take my breath away sometimes given their intensity. I also suffer persistent lumbar back pain. And of course a knee can ache, or an ankle or a foot depending on what PsA decides to inflame on any given day.

My happy place though is walking my dog in the countryside. It’s essential for my sanity frankly. My judgement on how well I’m doing PsA wise is always based on how good am I doing at walking my dog. I don’t much care about much else.

Well I can tell with the addition of walking poles, I’ve suddenly discovered I can walk further and faster and that my hip cramping is minimal and my lumbar back pain more manageable and my knees feel better. And my dog is now confused as he was used to me stopping a lot, waiting for a spasm to pass and suddenly I’m not doing that much anymore.

We’re both delighted. Just thought I’d share something so simple which is so incredibly positive for me. The poles though were expensive but worth every penny.

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Yes, hiking sticks are amazing. They allowed me keep hiking a decade longer than I otherwise could have! They saved so much strain on my knees. Greatly reduced my overdoing it, post hike, several days of limping. And I’m still hoping to get back to it as my meds seem to be helping more (fingers crossed).

Another amazing thing for dog walking - a running belt leash. The leash clips to a belt instead of holding it in your hand, though it does also have a hand loop for if you need more control. My dog is mediocre on her leash skills, and shes young and full of energy. Not having her pull on my inflammed and pained hands is a life saver! I get a few odd looks walking around the neighborhood - but it lets us walk around the neighborhood! :slight_smile:

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I’d be terrified of the running belt leash, I truly think my dog would pull me over with a sudden dart on it. He’s pretty good on the lead and walks to heel both on and off the the lead. And most of our walks are to places like the woods etc where no lead is necessary. What’s sweet is that he’s learning the hiking poles now as in not to trip me up with them. :smile:

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That’s great to know. I use a walking stick when hiking but I have often wondered about using hiking sticks. I will have to look into them

Do, I really find them much better than a walking stick. Lighter too. They’ve been a godsend for me.

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