It is essential that walking sticks are adjusted to the correct height for each individual user. If the height is incorrect then the support will not be adequate. Instruction in the various walking gaits or patterns may be necessary to ensure safe and correct use. A variety of differently shaped handles are available including: - crook handles which may be less comfortable than a right angled handle but can be hooked over the arm when the walking stick is not in use; - right angled handles which are often more comfortable to grip than a crook. The addition of a wrist strap may be useful to secure the stick when it is not in use; - 'T' shaped handles which may be curved to form a slight hook; - contoured or ergonomic handles including 'Fischer handles' which spread the pressure over a wider area of the hand and may be more comfortable for permanent users or those with painful hands. A stick with a swan neck shaft spreads the user's weight centrally over the base. This may be helpful for those who require more stability. Ferrules should be checked regularly for wear and tear and periodically replaced as appropriate.