In a glance, using crutches seems like an easy thing to do, until you finally experienced using it. For first-timers, walking with crutches is uncomfortable at most. The cause of this discomfort is the lack of knowledge on how to use it properly. If you’re going to use a pair for a long time, its recommended to learn how to use it properly.

Some of the common discomforts among crutches’ users are sore armpits, shoulder pain, and hand pains. Along with proper usage, users can add attachments to their crutches and make their mobility more comfortable. Here are the things you can do to make crutches more comfortable.

  1. Use handle paddings

Getting sore and painful hands is a common problem that patients need to endure throughout their medication. A remedy for this problem is installing handle paddings. Handle paddings work as a layer of protection that softens the impact when the user puts weight to the handle grips. Some paddings are made with foam for additional comfort. Other materials such as plastic-gel are used for additional friction. You also need to know how to install crutches hand grips or pads.

  • Find the right handle paddings for your crutch.
  • Remove the auxiliary support (that one part that touches the armpit) and its rubber padding.
  • Undo the clip from either side of the handle (usually colored in red) and slide it out of the body.
  • Remove the padding and replace it with a new one (sliding out the new padding might require force).
  • Put the handle and the auxiliary support back to the body.
  • Pat the auxiliary support a few times to make sure it is attached properly.
  1. Armpit cushions and proper crutch handling

One of the common mistakes a first-time crutch user makes is using the armpit as the main support while moving. This means that all of the user’s weight is being handled by the shoulder region, making the armpit sore and painful. This can be remedied by using a cushion under the auxiliary support (or under the armpit). A simple towel or any fabric will do to reduce the discomfort. Wrap the fabric around the auxiliary support and secure it properly.

The proper way to use crutches is by supporting your weight in the handle and not in the auxiliary support. This way, your shoulder, and armpit are not receiving a lot of damages from the impact when using the crutch. The impact is absorbed by your hand. Instead of using the crutch to propel yourself forward, use the “three-point contact” rule. Each time the user takes a step, he or she should have three-point support touching the ground (via uninjured feet and two crutch tips).

  1. Make crutch adjustments

Because of body differences, a patient might have a different experience when using crutches for other patients. Its either too high or too low for the user’s height and weight. If the crutch is too high, the user will not be able to use the grip properly. On the other hand, if the crutches are too low, it results in added back pain, shoulder pain, and neck pain.

Thankfully, adjustable crutches do exist in the market. Users only have to adjust their crutches to fit their needs and avoid buying a new one. A properly-adjusted crutch should have these characteristics:

  • Stand straight using your uninjured feet and position your crutch on your side.
  • Check if the auxiliary support and the handle are in the right position.
  • The handle should be in the level of the hip (along the public region).
  • The auxiliary support should not be lower or higher than the elbow crease.
  • Adjust your crutch accordingly.
  • Slightly bend your elbows while holding the handles.
  1. Take small steps at a time

Using crutches would be a lot more comfortable and safer if you move small steps at a time. Besides being more dangerous, taking bigger strides requires more force. This method can be faster and more time-saving, but the damage in your armpits, shoulders, back, and arms would have more impact. Experts suggest moving your crutches about 1 foot or 30 cm in front of you while moving.

  1. Consider getting other crutch tips

There are different type of crutch tips that come handy in different situations. If the user wants more stability while moving, he or she will be more comfortable in using tips with a wider surface area. Using smaller crutch tips will help if your walking style tends to be on the faster side. Some crutches have a strong slip-resistant tip for slippy surfaces like snow.

How do you make crutches less painful?

Roll the piece of towel or blanket around the top of your crutches and secure it with some duct tape or packing tape. Make sure it’s securely in place so it doesn’t move around. Padding that constantly shifts will be uncomfortable and make it more difficult to use your crutches.

Why does using crutches hurt so much?

Yes, Crutches can be a real pain, especially when you don’t know how to use them correctly. Incorrect use of crutches can cause both shoulder and arm pain and bruise to your armpits. Your torso and arms are having to compensate for your injured leg, which puts a lot more strain on them.

How do I get easier on crutches?

Learning how to properly maneuver crutches can make it easier to use them in different situations.

How to do it:

  1. Place one crutch under each arm, bearing your weight with your hands.
  2. Step on the first step with your uninjured leg and then lift the crutches and your injured leg to the same step.
  3. Repeat and move slowly.

How do you not get tired on crutches?

If you get tired or winded while walking on crutches, rest awhile before trying to go on. Lean against a wall or place your bad leg over the bottom of the crutch on your good side and, with the other crutch at an angle for better balance, just relax.

Do you lose weight on crutches?

You may also wonder, “is walking on crutches good exercise?” The answer is: absolutely! Walking on crutches certainly qualifies as exercise because it requires a lot of upper body strength and burns more calories than walking without crutches does.

What works better than crutches?

Hands-free options like knee scooters and walkers work well for people whose knees are in great shape and just have a foot or ankle injury. Like our M+D Crutches, knee scooters/walkers don’t put strain on hands, wrists or armpits—so that’s a huge plus!

What’s easier than crutches?

Knee scooters are the better option than crutches because they’re also easier to maneuver. It doesn’t matter what surface you’re walking or rolling over, a steerable knee scooter will easily handle it.

Can you use a walker instead of crutches?

Crutches are the most popular mobility option if you have an injured leg. The consensus is clear that knee walkers are a modern and superior alternative to crutches. You can, and you should use them over crutches and any other mobility aids. Your specific injury will dictate whether you can use a knee walker or not.

What to use when you don’t have crutches?

It’s more comfortable choice for many people, compared to crutches. Wheelchairs have the most stability of all the mobility aids and don’t require any balancing. Plus, you can use the wheelchair in place of a kitchen or desk chair without needing to transfer.

What is the proper way to use crutches?

Which type of crutches are best?

Underarm crutches are the most common type of crutch, and can be easier to master at first. However, forearm crutches are proven to give you greater control over your movement. They are often suggested for more active patients, as they allow different gaits for different terrain.

Are knee scooters better than crutches?

Knee walkers are usually preferred over crutches because it allows for greater mobility, making it easier to get around and travel further distances. Unlike crutches, knee scooters do not require upper body strength, nor do they put strain on the hands, wrists and arm pits.

How do people survive non-weight bearing?

NonWeight Bearing (NWB): Do not place any weight through the surgical/injured leg. This includes resting your feet or toes on the ground. While walking and sitting, make sure to keep your foot elevated off of the ground at all times.

What happens if you put weight on a non-weight bearing?

In many cases this means you can‘t bear any weight at all – not even for a few seconds. Doing this could cause further injury and prolong your recovery time. While being nonweight bearing will feel restrictive, it’s vital that you follow your doctor’s advice on how long to be on nonweight bearing crutches.

Can you sit on a knee walker?

Knee scooters or knee walkers are NOT designed for sitting on. The engineering of the knee rest is NOT made to support all of your body weight and thus may result in tipping over and you getting injured.

What is the best knee walker?

The 5 Top-Rated Knee Scooters
Editor’s Picks Knee Scooters Rating
1. Best Overall KneeRover GO Knee Walker 4.3/5
2. Runner Up KneeRover Deluxe Steerable Knee Scooter 4.5/5
3. Best Heavy Duty All Terrain KneeRover Steerable Knee Scooter 4.3/5
4. Best For Elderly Drive Medical DV8 Aluminum Steerable Knee Walker 4.2/5
Dec 31, 2020

How much do knee walkers cost?

The cost of knee walkers can vary. The range of price that you can expect is around $175-$450—depending on the model you need. Buying a knee scooter is an option if you’re the type who prefers to own things outright—but obviously it incurs the upfront cost.

How much are walkers with a seat?

Typically, a standard walker can cost as little as $30 and as much as $100. Durable two-wheel and folding walkers are priced from around $50 to $250. Rollator walkers are more expensive, with budget models priced from about $70 and premium models costing as much as $600.