Crutches are one of the most common mobility aids used after an injury or surgery to the lower body. Used correctly, crutches can reduce the stress on a painful or injured joint or limb by transferring the weight normally placed on the injured area to the upper body. Crutches often require considerable body strength and good balance.
Things to consider when choosing crutches:
- Does your doctor recommend forearm or underarm crutches?
- For underarm crutches, there is an option for folding crutches
- Ensure to get the proper size (1 1/2 to 2 inches below your armpit)
- Do you need crutch padding on the underarm rest for comfort?
- Do you need any other crutch accessories, such as crutch tips or crutch grips?
Forearm Crutches vs Underarm Crutches
There are two main types of crutches -- underarm crutches (also called axillary crutches) and forearm crutches. Underarm crutches are more traditional and are used predominantly for ankle or knee injuries. Underarm crutches, if used correctly, are ideal for short durations (from a week to up to three months).
Over long-term use, underarm crutches can cause posture problems and sometimes pressure or nerve injury. Forearm crutches are rarely used in North America but are preferred over underarm crutches in other parts of the world, such as the UK. Forearm crutches can be used in most cases instead of underarm crutches but, in particular, are very effective when both legs need to be supported. The third type of crutch is a walking knee crutch.
Axillary Crutches Benefits
There are many benefits to using underarm crutches. For one, they are very convenient for temporary injuries. Crutches provide strong lower body support, which can help reduce pain and prevent injury down the road. These crutches are also low-cost compared to other forms of walkers or canes. They can be used in situations where no other device is needed, such as when someone has a sprained ankle or leg muscle strain.
An underarm crutch sometimes referred to as an axillary crutch, is often the best form of crutch for temporary injuries and disabilities. The distinctive underarm crutch is not only easy to find and replace, but it is also useful in providing a fast recovery to those who suffer from injuries or illnesses that require the use of this mobility aid. The underarm crutch provides users with the ability to walk independently with minimal to no assistance. They are also perfect for those who may have issues with weight-bearing, as it does not cause any extra pressure on the user's arms or hands.
Another benefit of an axillary crutch is that this type of crutch provides maximum lower body support, especially if only one leg is injured. Many other types of crutches are designed for people with permanent disabilities or limited movement. They, therefore, allow partial use of both legs for more comfort and capacity building.
When compared to forearm crutches, underarm crutches require less upper body strength and body control. This is shown by the fact that they require less muscle mass to be used during use and allow for more freedom of movement. Forearm crutches, on the other hand, use a larger range of motion and provide more stability than underarm crutches because they are supported on the user's arm.
Anyone looking to purchase a crutch should make sure to consider the cost and if they need to spend more time on their feet because underarm crutches can be a cheaper solution. This type of crutch is also much lighter than other types which usually weigh 12 pounds or more.
Underarm crutches are made up of wood or light metal and rubber. Wood is typically used for children’s crutches, while adults may opt to use aluminum for the frame. The rubber grips on the upper arm will help to prevent sliding down the arm. The grips should be able to adjust to fit different arm sizes, which means that it can be reused if necessary. There is little customization of this type of kickstand other than the height, which further reduces the cost.
Forearm Crutches Benefits
Many people who have difficulty walking because of a leg or foot injury may want to use forearm crutches. For these individuals, the crutches can provide support and stability when they walk. The elbow crutches are commonly made from aluminum or another lightweight material, with a padded section for the forearm and a footrest.
A person's upper body strength has a significant impact on their ability to use forearm canes. An individual who is able to carry heavy items as well as perform daily tasks such as cooking and showering without assistance will have substantial upper body strength. People with a weak upper body can try these 3 exercises to increase their upper body strength: squeeze the ball, do pushups, and push against a wall with your arms.
Walking Knee Crutch Benefits
People with lower leg injuries or conditions can benefit from using a knee crutch to improve their mobility. The primary use for a knee crutch is in cases where walking is difficult because of soreness, weakness, or an injury. Knee crutches are often used by people who have had foot surgery or who have sprained their ankle. Some knee crutches are strapped to the leg so that the user is hands-free.
Other knee crutches have knee support, padded feet, and a handle that allows the user to move the knee crutch while walking. Still, other knee crutches have roller feet and move forward under pressure from the user's knee. Knee crutches are typically used to aid recovery from an injury below the knee. However, they can also benefit amputees, diabetics, and people with painful conditions such as gout.
The main benefit of the knee crutch may be that it typically offers a greater range of motion than an armpit crutch. Knee crutches can also be more comfortable for most users. They generally allow the injured leg to remain bent at a 90-degree angle, with the injured leg's knee resting on a padded and often contoured surface.
Athletes can benefit most from a knee brace that works like a prosthetic leg. A strap-on crutch gives the user more mobility and range of motion than other crutches. Most crutches available for use by individuals with arm disabilities are cane or forearm crutches, both of which provide a limited range of motion. The most effective type of crutch is a strap-on crutch, which can be used by anyone who cannot bear weight on their injured leg or foot.
Halo Healthcare offers a wide range of crutches in Canada and US so you can decide which one is best for you.