As far as mobility aids go, crutches are some of the most frequently used. They support your weight and help remove strain from the affected leg as you recover from injuries. For individuals living with a permanent disability, crutches help them to move around and be mobile.
What are Crutches?
Crutches are a walking aid that expands the size of a user's base of support. Additionally, they transfer weight from the legs, especially the injured leg, to the upper body - specifically the hands or underarms. Crutches are frequently employed by individuals who cannot bear their weight with their legs alone.
Different Types of Crutches
There are three main types of crutches, each with its own pros and cons. They are:
1. Underarm Crutches – Also known as axillary or axilla crutches, these are the most common type of crutches. These crutches are worn under your arm and may be adjusted to fit your height. They are simple to use and balance on and require less upper body strength. However, they can cause discomfort and exhaustion as you place all of your body weight over the underarms and strain the wrists and the hands. Nonetheless, they're perfect for use while recovering from short term injuries.
2. Forearm Crutches – These crutches are also known as elbow or lofstrand crutches. Forearm crutches have a cuff that wraps over your forearm (some wrap your wrist or elbow) and handle to grip. People who require long-term or permanent crutches are most likely to utilise forearm crutches. Many people prefer to use these crutches because they assist you in maintaining appropriate posture and reduce your risk of back problems. Users of these crutches usually need more practice before mastering how to utilise them. In comparison to axillary crutches, they do require more upper body strength.
3. Forearm Support Crutches - Adjustable platform crutches are sometimes known as arthritic crutches or gutter crutches. Their most distinctive features are adjustable grips and padded forearms to assist those who require greater crutch assistance.
What Injuries Require Crutches?
You'll need to use crutches when you suffer leg injuries. Some of the common injuries that necessitate crutches include:
- Broken foot
- Broken ankle
- Sprained ankle
- Stress fracture
- Knee injury
- Achilles tendon injury
- ACL tear or injury Muscle strain
- Hip dislocation
How To Choose The Right Crutches For You
When choosing crutches, you should consider the following elements:
- How Long You'll Use The Crutches – When using crutches long term, you should prioritise comfort. The crutches you purchase will be an extension of your body, and you want the utmost comfort while using them.
- Adjustability – Choose crutches with some adjustability to ensure they can meet your needs in different situations.
- Fit crutches Properly – The crutches' handgrips should be where the wrist bends. The crutches' length should be such that the forearm cuffs are about 2 inches below the point the elbows bend.
How to Use Crutches When Walking
Step #1: Assume the tripod position, whereby your crutches are about a foot in front of you. They should also be 4-6" to the side feet.
Step #2: Lean forward with a firm grip on the crutches. Move your body, ensuring the affected leg does not touch the ground.
Step #3: Take a step forward with your weight-bearing foot.
Step #4: Move the crutches forward and assume the tripod posture. Repeat the process.
Even though moving around with crutches, especially on uneven ground, it's difficult, and you can move around hands-free, they are indispensable for individuals recovering from leg injuries or individuals living with a disability.
Buy the Best Mobility Aids At Get About Mobility
At Get About Mobility, we focus on helping you meet your mobility needs. We stock the highest quality crutches and the full range of accessories you might need to move around. Whether you need forearm or underarm crutches, we have the right product to meet your needs.