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How to choose the right Crutch?

How to choose the right Crutch?

Types     |     Accessories     |     Using Crutches on Stairs

Over the years you probably saw a person on crutches countless times but never once paused to give it another thought. Now when fate has put you in a place where crutches will be your saving grace, you are surprised how little you know about one of the most common mobility aid. The variety of options and styles available has you looking for an answer to the obvious question - what would be the right crutch for you? Choosing the right crutch makes a big difference to one’s safety and stability. Proper usage and the correct size of the crutches may reduce the risk of fall or further damage to joints.
Acting as a substitute for the injured leg, a crutch broadens the support base to maintain balance and stability. Hence armstrength, posture, coordination and balance are things that must be factored in before choosing the right crutch. Lower limb injuries, such as ankle sprain, broken ankle, cast care, knee injury, broken foot or toe, etc., usually require a crutch. Crutches are also used by amputees, paralytic and people with disabilities who have trouble walking.They allow the user an upright posture and help maneuver in places inaccessible to wheelchairs.

Crutches help bear the weight of an individual and therefore, it is important they are custom fitted. The correct choice and application help minimize complications such as a weakened hand, wrist and forearm muscle and underarm nerve damage.

What are the types of Crutches?

Two of the most common types of crutches are the underarm crutches and the forearm crutches. The type of injury and recommendation of trained personnel is what helps you choose between the two crutch types.

Underarm vs. Forearm Crutches

Buy Underarm Crutches Buy Forearm Crutches
Buy Axillary Crutches Buy Elbow Crutches
Also known as: Axillary Crutches Also known as: Elbow Crutches
Pros
  • Readily available
  • Require less upper body strength
  • Easy to master, take less coordination

 

Pros
  • Encourage proper posture
  • Easier to use on uneven terrain
  • Typically more comfortable during use
Cons
  • Can be painful & cause sore underarms, wrists & hands
  • Improper use can lead to axillary nerve dysfunction
Cons
  • Require more upper body strength
  • Can be more difficult to master

 

What are Underarm Crutches?

Earlier, underarm crutches (or auxiliary crutches) had only pads to support the armpits but today many of these come equipped with shock-absorbing rubber bars that can be comfortably placed under the arm while walking. Underarm crutches are suitable for temporary injuries, disabilities such as ankle sprains and knee injuries or recovery from a surgical procedure. Little training is required to use these crutches and they are inexpensive. Two simple functionalities are height adjustments and hand grip height adjustments. Correct size and fit are highly important as the wrong choice can affect muscles and nerves under the arm.

Things to remember when using a crutch:

  • For safety purposes, crutches must be measured correctly to avoid falls and injuries

  • There should be a distance of 2-3 fingers between the crutch pad and the armpit (around 5 cm)

  • The elbow must be flexed at an angle of 30 degrees and be at par with the top of the pelvis when one holds the handle grip

  • Body weight should be supported by the hand grips and not the underarms to avoid damaging the nerves

  • Crutch tips should rest approximately 2 inches forward and 6 inches outside the feet to provide proper balance

BuyMillennial In-Motion Pro Folding Underarm Crutches

What are Forearm Crutches?

Forearm crutches have an open cuff that grips around the user's forearm. Also known as elbow crutch or the Lofstr and crutch, they are used by amputees and people with lifelong or permanent disabilities owing to polio or multiple sclerosis. These crutches are easier to use as they offer greater freedom of movement and people can choose to navigate over rough terrains or up and down stairways.

Things to remember while using a Crutch:

  • Crutch should be 6inches (15cm) in front of your foot and 2-4 inches (5-10cm) to the side of the foot

  • Height of the handgrips should be at wrist level

  • Cuff should be adjusted 1 inches below the elbow

  • If height is properly adjusted the elbow will be flexed at 30 degrees when you hold the handgrips

 

Shop Ergoactives Ergobaum 7G Royal Ergonomic Forearm Crutches

For a first time user it is safe to follow instructions from a designated health expert. Research has shown that the wrist receives one-to-three times the body weight when swinging the crutches while walking, an extra load the upper body was not designed to sustain. Thus when the need arises for using crutches, it is best to transition slowly into a regular routine with crutches to limit the additional stress on the wrists and avoid the risk of injury to another part of the body.

Accessories of Crutches

There are a wide range of accessories that can enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of both underarm and forearm crutches. They include:

Crutch tips – Crutch tips are the foundation of your crutches and a faulty tip can result in slips and falls. There are multiple crutch tip options in the form of latex crutch tips, ice crutch attachment, and many more.

Pads and covers – Pads and covers are usually used with underarm crutches where pads and covers such as gel pads, non-latex pads, fleece covers, and cushy gel covers are used to cover the shoulder rest. They offer great comfort and ease of use.

Grips – Grips are an important part of the crutch since a rough and uneasy grip can cause discomfort, rashes, and falls. Sturdy, high quality grips can help enhance the experience by allowing easy use of the crutches.

Using Crutches on Stairs

Using the stairs with crutches can be challenging task. Technically, it is safest to go up and down the stair when seated, but many a time it isn’t practical.

Going up the stairs with crutches (when seated):

  • Sit on a low step (back facing the top of the staircase)
  • Place the crutches as far up the stairs as your hand reaches
  • Reach behind with both the arms
  • Use your arms and weight-bearing leg to move up one step
  • Repeat this procedure till you reach the top of the stairs

Going up the stairs with crutches (when standing):

  • Take a step up with your weight-bearing leg
  • Move your crutches to the next stair, one by one
  • Place your weight again on your weight-bearing leg
  • Move your weak/affected/injured leg upwards

Going down the stairs with crutches (when seated):

  • Sit on the top step (back should face the top of the staircase)
  • Slide the crutches down the stairs as far as you can
  • Reach behind you with both the arms
  • Use your arms and weight-bearing leg to move down one step
  • Repeat this till you reach the bottom of the stairs

Going down the stairs with crutches (when standing):

  • Place your crutches one step down, holding one in each of your hand
  • Move your weak leg forward, followed by your weight bearing leg
  • If there is a handrail, you can hold your crutches in one hand and the rail in the other

Whether you need it for a short duration or a longer period, a well chosen crutch will go a long way in mobility independence and an injury-free life.

Top Ten Crutches of 2021

1. iWALK 2.0 Hands Free Knee Crutch

iWALK 2.0 Hands-Free Knee Crutch is a crutch that ends the pain and inconvenience of conventional crutches. It allows people with lower leg non-weight bearing injuries to lead functional, hands-free, pain-free lives during their rehabilitation. iWALK 2.0 is safe, stable, economical and easy to learn and use, and a potent alternative to traditional crutches and knee scooters.  This crutch adjusts quickly and tool-free for user heights from 4’10” to 6’6” and can change for left or right leg use in seconds.

Features of iWALK 2.0 Hands-Free Knee Crutch

  • Easy to assemble at home without any tools
  • Adjustable for any leg and accommodates for all leg types
  • Learning to iWALK - Is Universal quick, easy and intuitive
  • Hands-free/Pain-free - Provide total mobility
  • Replaceable treads provide traction and safety
  • Multiple Award Winner - iWALK2.0 at Medtrade
 

2. Guardian Forearm Crutches

Guardian Forearm Crutches provide stability as well as independence for those requiring assistance in ambulation on a long-term basis. The telescoping parts are manufactured with internal bushings and external lock nuts to provide totally silent usage. The heavy-wall, high strength aluminum tubing and black components that hide signs of wear and scratches. This forearm crutch molds to user for extra comfort and its black components hide signs of wear and scratches.

Features Guardian Forearm Crutches

  • Contoured arm cuffs
  • High strength aluminium tubing
  • External lock cuffs
  • Vinyl coated, tapered, and contoured arm cuffs
 

3. FDI OptiComfort Lightweight Forearm Crutches

FDI OptiComfort Lightweight Forearm Crutch is a sleek, modern and refreshing approach to crutch design. This amazing 1.12lb Forearm Crutch features super soft grips, a soft replaceable forearm pad, and a deep cuff for improved comfort and security. 3.6 inches (9.2cm) deep cuff provides comfort and security. OptiComfort Forearm Crutch is latex free and available in black, white or blue. OptiComfort proves to be the best choice for people who want an ultra-light performance crutch.

Features of FDI OptiComfort Lightweight Forearm Crutches

  • Ultra-soft replaceable grips with easy push button release
  • OptiComfort Forearm Crutches have height selection locking device with safety clip
  • Epoxy coated 5086 Aluminium Crutch Legs for long term durability
  • Replacebale, flexible, anti-slip crutch tips maximize surface contact at an angle
 

4. Ergoactives Ergobaum 7G Royal Ergonomic Forearm Crutches For Adult

Ergoactives Ergobaum 7G Royal Ergonomic Forearm Crutches are comfortable, fully adjustable which are designed to make users lives easier during recovery while providing safety and reducing any secondary injury commonly caused by conventional crutches. The new patented proven technology and extra features facilitates and enhance the use of crutches. It comes equipped with Ergocap high performance tips (0.6 lbs per tip compared to 0.3 lbs per ergocap ltralite). The Ergoactives Ergobaum Crutches are designed to provide a comfortable gait on crutches while reducing secondary injuries associated with crutch use.

Features of Ergobaum 7G Forearm Crutch

  • Height adjustable from 5ft to 6ft 6"
  • Supports up to 360 lbs
  • 7G Latest Foldable Ergonomic Generation
  • Made of medical grade materials
  • Ergonomically designed
 

5. Medline Forearm Crutches

The Medline Forearm Crutches are high-strength aluminum crutches built tough to withstand the toughest use and for long-lasting performance. Pivoting cuff bracket is secured to a composite post for added durability. Moreover, all telescoping parts are manufactured with internal bushings and external lock nuts to provide silent usage. These crutches are recommended for long-term disability. It is vinyl-coated, tapered, contoured arm cuffs mold to user for extra comfort.

Features of Medline Forearm Crutches

  • Leg and forearm sections adjust independently for a custom fit
  • Heavy-wall, high-strength aluminum tubing
  • Boast features provide welcome benefits for the patient
  • Black components hide signs of wear and scratches
 

6. Millennial In-Motion Forearm Crutches

Millennial In-Motion Forearm Crutches feature V design opening cuffs which allow easy entry and hands-free use. The patented spring assist technology absorbs negative impact energy and returns positive kenetic energy to aid patient ambulation. They increase comfort by reducing stress, fatigue and soreness. It is ergonomically designed handles keep wrists and hands in a natural position to decrease the pressure on wrists for increased comfort.

Features of Millennial In-Motion Forearm Crutches

  • Millennial In-Motion Forearm Crutches are lightweight and durable
  • Allow proper blood flow and nerve conduction
  • Standard articulating crutch tips provide stability
  • Injection molded cuffs eliminate uncomfortable rivets and hinges
  • Uniquely designed V cuff for easy entrance and firm hold for hands free use
 

7. Ergoactives Ergobaum Ergonomic Crutches For Kids and Junior Adults

Ergoactives Ergobaum Ergonomic Crutches For Kids and Junior Adults were introduced to improve the quality of life of patients who require medical assistive products to support the users daily lives. These speed the recovery process while reducing secondary injuries associated with the use of conventional crutches and provide the user with a cushioned ride, shock absorption and return energy through the normal gait. Ergoactives Ergobaum Ergonomic Crutches For Kids and Junior Adults features a series of innovative add-ons to facilitate and enhance the use of crutches, improving the comfort, safety, and quality of life of each user

Features Ergoactives Ergobaum Ergonomic Crutches

  • Manufactured with the newest and highest quality materials along with top quality management for quality assurance
  • Newest, most revolutionary crutch in the market, over performing the competition by improving the comfort of walking on crutches while reducing any secondary injury as a result of using conventional walking assistive devices
  • Designed by an orthopedic surgeon with the end-user fully in mind
  • Eliminates annoying "rattle" found in most other crutches as well as metal fatigue from constant metal to metal contact
  • Forearm supported crutch that has been tailored to meet all of the accommodations or inquiries that patients all over the world have been asking for in the past decades
 

8. FDI ErgoDynamic Lightweight Forearm Crutches

FDI ErgoDynamic Lightweight Forearm crutches is the lightest crutch with shock absorber which softens each step to avoid shock to the hands, wrists and shoulders. The unique shock absorber is integrated into the upper shaft and utilizes an exclusive in-handle linkage system offering smooth, silent operation throughout its 1.26 inches (2.5cm) travel. It provides greater feedback and control while providing positive forward momentum to the user.

Features of FDI ErgoDynamic Lightweight Forearm Crutches

  • Height selection locking device with safety clip
  • Epoxy coated 5086 aluminium legs for long term durability
  • Replaceable, flexible, anti slip crutch tips, maximizes surface contact at an angle
  • Latex free
  • Weighs just 1.32lbs per crutch
 

9. Cardinal Health Bariatric Steel Crutch

Cardinal Health Bariatric Steel Crutch provides added safety and durability. It is manufactured with steel to ensure additional strength in weight-bearing areas. Extra thick underarm pads and hand grips provide maximum comfort when in use. Bariatric Steel Crutch replaces the traditional foam rubber with thermoplastic rubber a synthetic blend that lasts longer, resists peeling and most important is softer. Tool-free push-button adjustment allows the height of the underarm pad to be easily adjusted in 1-inch increments.

Features Heavy Duty Steel Crutch

  • Easy push button height adjustment in 1 inch increments
  • Comfortable hand grips for a secure hold
  • Slip-resistant tips for cushioned support
  • Lightweight, sturdy construction
 

10. Ergoactive Ergobaum Dual Ergonomic Underarm Crutches With Arm Support

Ergobaum Dual Ergonomic Underarm Crutches With Arm Support is a double function shock absorber underarm crutch. It is designed to facilitate the use of crutches, reducing secondary injuries associated with underarm crutches while providing comfort during short, or long term use. The Ergobaum Dual is the only crutch that allows the user to walk with a 7-degree underarm axillar internal rotation with respect to the grip.

Features of Ergobaum Dual Underarm Crutch

  • Triple function shock absorbers
  • Made of Medical Aluminum
  • Suitable for adults 5'0 to 6'6"
  • Supports upto 380 lbs
 

Where to Buy Crutches Online?

At HPFY, we have a wide range of premium crutches that help for excellent support during mobility and help you easily maneuver in all kinds of spaces and environments.  

 

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