Buyer Guide

How To Use Forearm Crutches? (Should You Even Use Them?)

Want to learn how to use forearm crutches properly? Keep on reading, it’s easier. 

First you need adjust them according to your height. Then follow the steps mentioned below.

  • Stand straight with crutches, and place both crutches tips apart from you approx. 10cm away on both sides. 
  • Then bring forward both crutches simultaneously and place them ahead of you about a foot. After placing the crutches, you need to bring the good leg ahead followed by the injured leg, shifting your body weight onto the crutches, place your body in between the crutches. And repeat the same process.
  • Remember, crutch hand-grips should be equal to your hip bone and elbows should be slightly bent at 15 degrees to avoid the side effects of using forearm crutches.  

If you still need any help, you can check my other blog post on how to walk with crutches properly, where you’ll get detailed introduction to all gait types, and usage of crutches on stairs as well. 

How to choose the best forearm crutches?

Now, despite the fact that forearm crutches are more comfortable, you must keep in mind several key points crucial for buying forearm crutches. These will help you determine whether certain crutches are good enough to buy for yourself. 

So let’s discuss them one by one.

Are you okay with using forearm crutches?

Ask yourself this question before you even think about buying forearm crutches. Why? Because forearm crutches require more upper body strength and also wrists’ strength.

Hence, you should be strong enough to balance your weight on forearm crutches, otherwise there is no point buying them, right? Instead, you can go for the best underarm crutches that require less strength. Once you heal yourself a bit, then you’ll be able to walk with forearm crutches. 

But, if you’re okay with forearm crutches right now, move on to the next important points.

Weight Bearing Capacity of Crutches

Yes, this point is quite obvious. Imagine you order a nice pair of crutches for yourself. These look cool, you’re happy, you start using them, and one day you’re slowly going down the stairs, step by step. Then, a moment comes, it’s your third step on the stairs and you hear a sound; a sudden cracking sound of something breaking.

Next moment you realize, instead of going step by step, you’re rolling down the stairs smashing your legs and hands, head and ribs and bottom; whump. You crash-landed on the flat, rock-hard floor; because a little fortune you spent on those goddamn crutches could not even bear you walking down the stairs. 

Then you’ll be like why the hell did that happen? My friend, that happened, because those bad eggs were good-for-nothing. Those crutches were never meant to bear your weight. You should not have bought them in the first place. 

So what’s the lesson here? Always buy the product with maximum weight bearing capacity to avoid getting yourself hurt AGAIN! Ideally, reliable crutches come in the range of 230-300 pounds weight bearing capacity.

User-Friendly Design

Your next concern should be to choose a design that is comfortable for the long term. And how do you know if the design is ergonomic and best for long term use? Well, check for the arm cuffs, tips, hand-grips, adjustment flexibility, and overall design of the crutches.

If these elements seem to put you in total control and comfort, then, it’s a green signal. If all or one of these elements lacks comfort, instead of healing yourself, you’ll develop other issues like wrist pain, bad back, or nerve damage. So always choose an ergonomic design and get the most out of your crutches.

Weight of the Crutches

Last but not least: check the weight of the crutches you’re going to buy. Always remember, the lighter they are, the easier it will be to carry them around. Think of it this way: you’re already struggling with your injury and it is nerve-wracking to even carry your own body weight.

Then, on top of it, you’ve to bear the weight of heavy crutches. That will be much more painful, right? But lightweight crutches will save your day at least a bit. Ideally, 1.5 pounds or 0.5 kg is enough for a reliable forearm crutch. So, make a note of this point as well. 

Tell me your questions related to using forearm crutches in the comment section below & I’ll help by answering each of them. Hope this blog post was helpful for you!

Mark Patinson

January 24, 2021