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Crutches are used by people with mobility impairments ranging from short term disabilities to lifetime impairment. They are designed to provide balance and stability to the gait, reducing pressure on the user's legs. Crutches shift the weight from the lower body to the upper body. Users with partial loss of leg strength can use them. A crutch provides a sense of independence to a person with a disability. Health conditions like cerebral palsy, sprains, strains, fracture, surgery, etc., that require keeping weight off the feet create a requirement of crutches. Buy high-quality and stable crutches for temporary or permanent ambulation needs from top manufacturers like Drive Medical, Medline, Cardinal Health and many more at attractive prices. Buy now and avail exclusive discounts on all purchases!

Types of Crutches

Crutches are made up of sturdy materials like aluminum and its alloys to support the user's weight efficiently. They are height adjustable to accommodate the sizes of various users. Height adjustments can be made easily generally, with the push of a button. Crutches fall into two categories:

  • Underarm or AxillaUnderarm crutches are placed below the armpit besides the ribs to support the body weight. To distribute weight a hand grip is also provided just parallel to the arm pad. Underarm crutches are suitable to provide support for ambulation to people with temporary mobility impairment. The crutch armpit pad must be soft enough to reduce pressure on the sensitive armpit area otherwise it may lead to possible diseases like crutch paralysis or crutch palsy due to the pressure on the nerves in the armpit. 
  • Pros
    • Require less upper body strength
    • Easy to master, take less coordination
    • Readily available
    • Improper use can lead to axillary nerve dysfunction
    • Can be painful and cause sore underarms, wrists, and hands
  • Forearm Crutches: Forearm crutches or elbow crutches consist of a cuff that supports the forearm and a grip to be held in the wrist. The user must insert his hand into the cuff and hold the grip. These cuffs come in a variety of shapes to hold the hand securely. These crutches are suitable for long term use and are safer than axillary crutches.

  • Pros
    • Easier to use on uneven terrain and stairs
    • Encourage proper posture
    • Typically more comfortable during use
    • Can be more difficult to master
    • Require more upper body strength

When to use crutches?

Recovering from a variety of short-term injuries or long-term conditions, crutches can be used to help support your weight. You might use crutches as you recover from a:
  • Stress fracture
  • ACL injury or tear
  • Achilles tendon injury
  • Broken ankle
  • Broken foot
  • Sprained ankle
  • Muscle strain
  • Knee injury
  • Hip dislocation
  • Other leg injuries

How to use Crutches?

  • Start with tripod position: stand on your good leg with your crutches about 1 foot in front of you and 4-6” to the side of either foot.
  • Lean on crutch handles and move your body forward, including your affected leg (don’t let it touch the ground).
  • Take a Step forward with your weight-bearing foot.
  • Now move your crutches out in front of you to the tripod position and repeat.
  • Practice will make it smooth and easier.

Precautions to take while using Crutches

  1. Remove rugs around your home or confirm they're secured, so you don't trip.
  2. Remove other clutter and confirm all cords are coiled up, so you've got clear pathways.
  3. Wear shoes that have non-slip soles, don't wear heels or shoes with slippery soles.
  4. Please keep your floors dry and clean to avoid falls.
  5. Inspect your crutch tips on a daily basis and replace them once they become worn down.

Research and Articles on Crutches