Before we start walking with our crutches, lets answer to the following questions:
What is the type of crutch that better suits to me?
How to walk with the crutches in different situations? 1 or 2 crutches? non bearing weight?
How to use correctly the crutches to get the maximum health/physical benefits and the minimum risks?
Let's have a look to these 3 points.
First of all we need to know what types of crutches suits better to me or even if there is a better alternative to crutches.
A large quantity of crutches models are available in the market. Best advice should be given by your doctor or physical therapist but some basic tips are to be considered regarding health benefits, reliability and of course pricing.
Axillary crutches are to be avoided as they will can produce serious side effects due to the excessive compression of the radial nerve in the axilla and/or wirst areas.
Health facts that are will be related with the choosing of the crutch is the size adjusting capability, the weight and last but not least, the design and color due to the psycologic effect of the day to day use.
To adjust the size correctly both handle and forearm cuff must be adjusted independently.
Also the cuff size should be adjustable and/or several sizes available.
Crutch lightness is a very important fact to be taking in to account considering that in one day we make an average of 20.000 steps and it will make a huge difference for wrists, hands, arms and shoulder to transport 0,5lbs or 1,5lbs in each arm.
Specially during rehabilitation and/or post traumatic events, psicologic facts are directly related to a fast recovery. Wearing a NON-appreciated object like a crutch or a walker frame will cause added self-esteem issues and slow the recovery.
Good looking design and funny colors will surely help!
A closed cuff crutch will aid to free hands when opening a door o shaking hands: the lighter is the crutch, the easier will be this movement.
Once we/our physical therapist have decided the best crutch model that matches our needs we must learn how to walk with crutches
To avoid bad positions, we must size the crutches to match every user measures.
handle height: correspons to the height of the hands when standing with the arms as close as possible to the body. Crutch handle height may be slightly different on right and left sides, depending on our body or why we are using the crutches.
Walking with one crutch
Getting up from a chair o bed with a crutch
1. Seat in the border of the chair or bed.
2. Get up helping yourself with your hands using the chair or bed rest.
3. Put your weight on the sound leg while getting up keeping your injured one away from the floor.
4. Pick up the crutch and start walking
Climb the stairs with one crutch
Going down the stairs with one crutch
1. Put your sound leg feet close to the border of the step.
2. Blend the sound leg knee. Carefully put the crutch and the injuried leg down to next step while holding the side guard rail.
3. Hold yourself on the crutch. Slowy put the sound leg to the same step.
Walking with two crutches
Getting up from a chair o bed with two crutches
The same procedure than before but help yourself with both crutches when getting up
Climb the stairs with two crutches
Going down the stairs with two crutches
Reliability of your crutches depends on basic points like maintainance and abusive use avoiding.
Review the rubber tips and change them if necessary. High friction safety tips are recomendable if you walk in wet floor like swimming pools.
Check the state of mechanical parts like bolts or tubes. Check for every suspect noise.
Don't use them to hang shopping bags on the handles as you are changing your gravity center when walking or when going down stairs.
Bathing in the sea with crutches can be part of the rehabilitation process. Only special materials like carbon fiber or thermoplastic will resist the action of oxydation. Never bath with aluminum crutches.