Buyer Guide

What are crutches? Learn Everything You Want to Know

What are crutches? To define real-simple, crutches basically help you walk when you cannot do that on your own. Crutches will give you substantial support so you can balance your body weight on them, and walk with real ease. 

Generally, crutches come in four different types, and their use depends upon the surgeon’s recommendations, patient’s interest, or the type of injury

These are:

  • Forearm crutches or Elbow crutches
  • Underarm crutches or Axilla crutches
  • Platform crutches or Gutter crutches
  • Leg Support crutches or Hands Free crutches

Ok, so, moving on with our next important question:

What are crutches used For?

Well, there are plenty of different reasons for this. 

(Of course, nobody likes to use crutches because those are clumsy pairs of sticks)

So, here are the most common medical conditions that prompt the need of using them.

  • Broken Ankle
  • Foot Fracture
  • Twisted Ankle
  • Stress Fracture or Bone Fracture
  • ACL Injury
  • Achilles Tendon Rupture  
  • Severe Muscle Strain
  • Knee Injury
  • Hip Fracture or Hip Dislocation

How to use crutches properly?

Walking with crutches can be laborious, and may require Herculean power in the start, but once you master their use, you should not have many complaints. 

And you can use different types of gaits to walk with crutches (four, to be precise).

But, mind you, walking with them is easy; using them on stairs is a bit tricky. 

The easiest and simplest way to use them on stairs is…avoid stairs while you’re recovering. 

(Heh, yeah, that’s right)

But if you want to learn all the crutch types, gaits, how to use crutches on stairs, while walking & sitting; everything in detail, give this article on crutches a read. I’ve made it very simple to digest. 

What to do for Crutch Comfort?

You might be unaware of the fact crutches leave some serious side effects on your body. 

This can be a dreadful nightmare for you.

A lot of people complain of pain in the armpits and bruised ribs. The worst part is…it can even take six damn weeks to heal bruised ribs.

Also, crutches can cause crutch palsy, which is radial nerve damage, and this can take a whole six darn months for recovery.  

Other than that, you might experience dreadful pain in the wrists or temporary muscle soreness.

But, don’t worry.

I’m going to tell you right now…how you can make your crutches more comfortable with some useful accessories, so you can save yourself from that damaging pain, and heal real-good!

If you’re using underarm crutches, you can buy soft crutch pads to place on top of the saddles. This will give you a softer experience, and you can avoid dangerous side effects like bruised ribs, pain in the armpits, and muscle soreness.

Another thing you must do is…never rest on crutches with your armpits, a lot of people make this mistake, get terrible bruises under the armpits, and suffer the pain later. Your elbows should be slightly bent when you’re walking, and your hand-grips should be at an equal level to your hip bone. 

Also, install soft cushions on hand-grips as well. This will reduce wrist fatigue.

One more pro tip, which a lot of people may ignore. 

Whenever you walk with crutches, always check crutch tips first. Sometimes crutch legs can penetrate through them, and you might not even notice. If they’re broken, buy new rubber crutch tips from your closest store or order online from Amazon. Rubber tips are very helpful on uneven surfaces and reduce energy expenditure, so you won’t tire yourself so early.

Mark Patinson

January 24, 2021