Posts Tagged ‘crutches’

Why use crutches?

January 8, 2010

Why use crutches?  Good question huh?  Well for me the reason I use them is for independence.  Since I was born as you know with a disability, I am not able to walk without them, so they make me independent. If i did not use them I would be in a wheelchair. So thanks to great parents and therapist I learned how to walk with crutches at the age of 18 months. Was it hard work yes it was. Do I remember the beginning not really. I started on what they call underarm or axillary crutches. I used those type until I was around the age of 11.  Then learned how to use what are called forearm crutches and continue to use those to this day. There are a few places out there that you can find that you can get custom made crutches if you are done growing and want something that looks little more grownup. I won’t give you any names or places to go in this post just know that they are out there and you can google and find them. I have a great pair that is custom fit for me and have been using them for over 10 years. They are light weight and made of titanium.

There are other reasons people use crutches, because of injuries, maybe you had surgery?

There are proper ways to use them I will discuss that briefly here today, the best way for you to learn how to use them is to contact a physical therapist or someone who is trained in teaching people how to use crutches.

One of the first things is to make sure the crutches have a perfect fit for you. If they don’t then it will be very difficult to get around and even could cause more injury or damage then actually helping you.

Some other additional things that you need to be aware of are with the underarm crutches the crutch should come with in 2-3  fingers of your armpit, make sure you are not leaning on them cause that will cause more damage to your nerves in your arms and you will then have more problems then just a leg/foot injury. You should be able to extend your arm down and your elbow should  be able to rest at about a 30 degree angle.

For the forearm crutches you should be able to flex your elbow between 15 and 30 degrees and the crutch tip should come within 6 inches of your foot. crutch cuff should come with in approximately 2.5-4 cm below your elbow.

There that should get you started. I want to in future post talk about how to walk with crutches. Also make sure you get a good pair of crutch tips that is very important because the wrong tips can and do cause problems, cause you to fall, slip and not feel confident in walking. As we know confidence is what is important for those of us that walk with crutches, cause there is plenty of things that can cause us to fall. I will talk about that in future post also…stay tuned for more ways to be independent.