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How To Use Crutches Correctly

Posted by Marcello C on
How To Use Crutches Correctly

Crutches are used to support mobility needs. Whether you need assistance during recovery with weight bearing restrictions or you’re looking for a long-term aid, crutches can help get you up and walking again.

There are several types of weight bearing restrictions to consider when using crutches:

Weight bearing as tolerated – put as much weight through your leg as is comfortable without causing pain

Partial weight bearing – push through your hands on the crutches to keep full weight off of your legs

Toe touch weight bearing – you can rest your foot gently on the floor

Non weight bearing – you can’t put any weight through your foot

 

How to Use Crutches Correctly

BASICS

  • Stand up straight – the top of the crutches should be about 1-2 inches below your armpit
  • The hand grips should be even with the top of the hip line
  • Elbows should be slightly bent while holding grips
  • Rest your weight on your hands not underarms
  • To avoid tripping, keep the tips of the crutches a comfortable distance away from your feet

 

WALKING

*Make sure you establish a sense of balance before walking

*Always watch where you’re going, don’t watch the ground

*To prevent falls, avoid dangerous, slippery and wet surfaces

  1. Lean forward on the handles and move crutches forward ahead of your weak leg
  2. Shift your weight to the crutches and move your body forward between the frames
  3. Finish your step with your good leg and regain balance
  4. Repeat motions 1-3

 

SITTING AND STANDING

Use a chair with arms to help support you through sitting and standing transitions

 

STAIRS

*Use extreme caution when walking up and down stairs

Always lead with your crutches

If there is a handrail, use it for support and hold your crutches in your other hand

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