Using Crutches Safely

Using crutches looks intuitive, but it’s really not. To use crutches properly, you need some good instruction, a bit of skill and then practice. If you need to be on crutches for a long period of time, the tips below will help you to use them safely.

crutches

Fitting Crutches

  • Have your health professional fit your crutches to you and give you instructions on how to use them.
  • The top of the crutches need to be 1-2 inches under the armpits when you are standing up.
  • Hand grips should be at hip level.
  • Elbows should be slightly bent when you grab the hand grips.
  • Shoulders should be leaning forward a bit as you use them.
  • Keep the top of them tight against the sides of the body, and use the hands to hold most of the weight.
  • Do not allow the armpits to rest on the crutches. This will irritate the skin.

Safety Tips

  • Be on the look out for any loose items on the floor in the home, such as cords, toys, rugs or anything that may trip you.
  • Make the house simpler, keep out the items that you regularly need. Put all other items out of the way.
  • A backpack is a great idea to keep things right by you that you use regularly, such as a pen, paper and cell phone.
  • Take short steps and take a break when you need to.
  • Keep the majority of your weight on your hands, not on the armpits.

Walking

  • Lean forward a bit and move the crutches one foot in front of you.
  • Shift the weight to your crutches and swing forward.
  • Put your good leg between the crutches and put them in front of you on the ground.
  • Shift weight to your good leg and begin the next step by putting crutches about 12 inches in front of you.
  • Be sure to look ahead and don’t look at the ground.

Standing Up

  • Shift to the front edge of your chain.
  • Take both crutches in the hand on the side of your injured leg.
  • Hold the chair arm with your free hand.
  • Put weight on the good leg, and push up with your arms and stand with your good leg.

Crutch Supplies

To make your crutches more comfortable, try these crutch mobility supplies:

versa

Versa Crutch Pack

mate

Crutch Mate Gel Hand Pads