A Beginner’s Guide to Using Crutches – Everything You Need to Know

Injuries can happen to anyone at any time. It doesn’t matter your age, gender, or how careful you are, no-one is immune to them. While some injuries will end up being very minor and don’t require any sort of medical attention, others can be more severe and result in sprains, broken bones, and worse. If you have recently sustained an injury that has resulted in you needing crutches, then there’s no doubt you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and even frustrated with the whole thing. Crutches can be rather tricky to get the hang of for beginners, and they can even be uncomfortable and painful to use.

With that in mind, here’s a beginner’s guide to using crutches, with a variety of tips and information that will help make the situation much more tolerable.

Why Are Crutches Necessary?

Crutches are meant to be used by those who need a support device. They are able to help you to hold yourself up when your body isn’t able to do it on its own. Things such as a knee injury, sprained ankle, broken ankle, or broken leg are all typical reasons to use crutches. Because you are keeping the weight off the injury, you will be allowing it to heal that much faster and it gives you a way to still be mobile.

There are different types of crutches too which are forearm crutches (also known as lofstrand crutches) and axillary crutches, each of which performs a specific task. Forearm crutches will bear your weight and can be used in the long-term. They also allow your hands to be free. Axillary crutches are underarm crutches. These are meant for people who have one leg, foot, or ankle that is not able to bear any weight. These are a short-term crutch just until your leg grows stronger.

It’s imperative that you obviously pick the right type for your needs.

Make Sure the Crutch Fits

Another tip is to make sure you are picking a crutch that fits your body so to speak. This means it can bear your weight and it is the right height. Some crutches are adjustable, so height isn’t so much of an issue. The ideal height should have the crutches sitting two to three inches under your armpit when you are standing up straight.

Make Sure Your House is Crutch-Proof

It’s also a good idea to take extra steps and crutch-proof your home. This may require a little help since you won’t be very mobile. You want to remove any tripping or slipping hazards such as area rugs, toys, clutter, electrical cords, etc. that could get in your way. It’s also a good idea to move things from top shelves to lower levels so you can easily reach necessities.

Take Your Time on the Stairs

Going up and down stairs while on crutches is perhaps the trickiest part of all. This is where a handrail will come in very handy, and you will likely need to hold the crutches in one arm/hand. Just take your time and find a technique that works for you and is safe.

Each of these tips will help your life to be a little smoother while on crutches.

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