The MS Gym Podcast

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January 25, 2022  

CANES VS. TREKKING POLES: What’s Right for You and When with Trevor Wicken

January 25, 2022

Welcome to the episode I've been dying to bring to you! It's all about the use of canes and trekking poles, and, most importantly, the advantages or disadvantages of using one or the other; and, yes, believe it or not, there are HUGE differences in these two modes of assistance.

Luckily for us, today we have access to wisdom and professional insight of Trevor Wicken, founder of the MS Gym, to break it all down for us.

I think it's important to point out that though many of you may know him as Coach Trevor, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Trevor holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Medicine and Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology & Biomechanics. His education AND his 21+ years of professional experience are steeped in biomechanical analysis, neurologic strength training and neuroplasticity in addition to his other specialties. I can think of no better resource to give us advice on how, when, and which assistive device we should be using.


  • At what point in your mobility journey should you be considering a assistive device?
  • The stigma that accompanies assistive device use
  • Paying attention to your patterns of mobility difficulty
  • Giving yourself permission to allow yourself to feel safe
  • Why Trevor loves trekking poles
  • Our bodies are wired for symmetry
  • Assistive devices give your brain the opportunity to chill and concentrate on walking
  • What's missing in your walking chain when you use a cane?
  • The danger of asymmetry
  • Restoring gait patterns with trekking poles
  • Who wouldn't you recommend a cane or trekking poles for?
  • When one trekking pole or cane should be used
  • You've got to check your ego!
  • What comes first, a rollator or a cane/trekking pole?
  • When you're not ready for trekking poles
  • In which hand should you be holding your cane trekking pole
  • How reaching for things throws you off balance
  • Are there programs within the MS Gym (membership or free) that specifically address cane and trekking pole use?
  • The final word on which device Trevor favors...canes or trekking poles?
  • The ongoing conversation we have with ourselves regarding the stigma of mobility device use
  • Learning not to be ego driven
  • You can't control what people think
  • What's good for you is good for your social circle
  • The gift of the disease


The MS Gym

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Brooke Slick

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