ACTIVATOR compared to other devices

ACTIVATOR Poles (patented) are revolutionizing rehabilitation and being used extensively in all continuum’s of health care.  See a comparison below of the Activator Poles compared to (or used in conjunction with) passive mobility devices such as canes and to delay/reduce the use of crutches and even walkers* (under the assessment of rehab professional or physician).

They have been instrumental in promoting an upright posture and a functional walking pattern compared to canes and walkers. In my opinion they facilitate rehabilitation and return patients to optimal function faster.”
Dr. Charles G. Fisher MD MHSc FRCSC, Past President of the Canadian Spine Society

Activator Poles compared to other devices 

ACTIVATOR™ Poles Canes Forearm crutches 4 wheeled walkers
Support Bilateral Unilateral Bilateral Bilateral
Weight bearing 200 lbs/pole (90.7 kg) Varies 300+ lbs (136 kg) 300+ lbs (136 kg)
Stability 2 contact points 1 contact point 2 contact points 4 contact points
Posture Upright Leaning to one side Leaning forward May promote a kyphotic posture
Arm swing Normal Limited arm swing on affected side Bilateral arm swing static
Gait pattern Functional Leaning to one side Smaller stride Smaller stride & shuffle
Core strength Increases Limited engagement of core muscles Limited engagement of core muscles Limited engagement of core muscles
Wrist position (stress) Neutral Extended Extended Extended
Rest option Seat
Basket Yes
Portability Easy-collapses & 3 lbs (1.36 kg) Easy Moderate Difficult
Cost 109 -149 <100.00 60.00 – 180.00 200.00 – 400.00
Research 250+ studies on walking poles (Pubmed)
Self-image Ability Disability Disability Disability
Activator Walker cane forearm crutches walker

*As with any new rehabilitation or exercise program, please check with your physician or therapist prior to use of the Activator or Urban Poles. If you are already using a cane, crutches or walker (or one has been recommended), therapy or exercise may be required for improving core strength, balance and co-ordination prior to use of the poles.

*This chart outlines a comparison to other devices. Therapists should always follow their own assessment results and professional judgement to determine the suitability of poles for clients.  Based on your assessment it may be more appropriate for your client to use the ACTIVATOR Poles for treatment sessions and/or daily exercise but continue to use a cane, walker or crutches as the primary walking device.

ACTIVATOR Poles vs other poles

ACTIVATOR Poles Nordic Walking/Hiking Poles
Straps Strapless to reduce the risk of injury – Knobloch, 2006 Straps
Grip Ergonomic CoreGrip Thin handle
Wrist position (stress) Neutral Extended
Weight bearing & locking system

button lock – 200 lbs/pole (90 kg)

 

twist lock: 40-90 lbs/pole (18 – 41 kg)

Flip lock: 120 lbs/pole ( 55 kg)

Core Strengthening downward pressure on CoreGrip ledge downward pressure on strap
Anti-Vibration 3 features (tip, grip, ferrule) May or may not
Tips large bell-shaped rubber tips to keep poles vertical for max stability & off loading no tips, small tips, or boot tips for position on a diagonal
Adjustable Users up to 6′ & collapses for travel.  New ACTIVATOR2 Poles for users up to 6’4″ & collapses shorter for travel. May or may not be adjustable

Maximum recommended user weight:  300 lbs.

Visit Research & Health to review 8 independent current/recent studies specifically on the ACTIVATOR Poles in hospitals and universities in Canada and the UK.

 

Provide variety in your routine, try double poling

Use the standard rhythm and technique, but swing both arms forward at the same time planting the boot tips slightly behind the handles. Then, keeping your arms straight, press down on the base of the handles, walk between your poles and feel your arms extend past your thighs and behind your body.
Barb Gormley, Director of Education

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