How to Walk with Crutches Without Getting Tired?
- Crutches, by design, require some physical effort to use. You'll feel it even more so if you're using them all day and walking long distances.
If you're experiencing tiredness from using your crutches, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're using your crutches optimally. If you're wondering how to use crutches without pain, the following tips should come in hand as well.
Here are some things to keep an eye on:
Get the Right Pair of Crutches
First, you must have the correct crutch pair size. There are three sizes: youth, adult, and tall adult.
Using the wrong crutch size will not allow you to adjust its size correctly.
Once you've made sure you have the correct crutch pair, it's time to adjust them to fit your size.
Proper Crutch Adjustment
Using crutches that are not properly adjusted to you is one of the main reasons for discomfort.
If the crutches are set too high, it can put significant strain on your armpits. Crutches that are set too low can cause you to hunch over and hurt your back.
The key rule is to have about a two-inch space between the top of the crutch and your armpit while you stand straight.
Then, the crutch handles need to be leveled with your wrists.
Finally, while standing straight and holding onto the handles, your elbows should be bent very slightly.
Learn how to adjust your crutches:
Walking with Crutches Properly
Using your crutches properly is key to minimizing pain and discomfort, and also avoiding tripping or falling.
So how do you walk with crutches properly?
Depending on which stage of weight-bearing you are, you'll have to do a different walking procedure.
Typical weight-bearing stages include:
• non-weight bearing (absolutely no weight put on your injured foot)
• toe-touch weight-bearing (you can touch your toe on the ground)
• partial weight-bearing (enough weight you feel comfortable at)
Check out this video on the different ways to walk with crutches according to your weight-bearing stage:
- • When using crutches, make sure they point outwards a little. You don't want the crutches to be at a total 90-degree angle. Having them outwards will provide you with more stability.
- • You should never press the top of your crutches to your armpits. All the support should be on your arms, not your armpits.
- • There are arteries and nerves in your armpits that can be damaged.
- • There should be about two inches of space between your crutch pad and your armpit.
Consider a Crutch Alternative
If you tried all the above and you're still unhappy with your crutches, you should consider some popular crutch alternative like an iWalk or a knee scooter.
Crutches are the most recommended mobility option because they can be inexpensive and very widely available. But...
Knee scooters are the most popular alternative to crutches.
A knee scooter allows you to keep non-weight bearing by resting your injured leg on a knee pad, then you roll and steer towards the direction you want to go.
It's the most effortless mobility device you'll ever use. And the best thing about them is you can "park" it and have both your hands free to do whatever you need to do. This is something you cannot do at all with crutches.
If you have a below-the-knee injury and want to get around faster and independently, you should consider getting a knee scooter.
Further Reading: How to Choose the Right Knee Scooter for You
How do you make crutches easier?
Many people who use crutches express frustration on how physically demanding and uncomfortable crutches are to use.
Unfortunately, these disadvantages are inherent of their design. You're supporting yourself on two sticks, after all.
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