If you have never used crutches before, you should not do so without instructions and a trained professional.
Before you begin using crutches, your doctor, nurse or physical therapist will show you how to adjust your crutches so they are the right height for you.
It is paramount to be able to use crutches comfortably.
When using crutches, weight should be taken through the hands via the hand pads. If bearing weight through your hands is difficult or painful, your therapist may recommend crutches that support your whole forearm.
There are a few different ways to walk with crutches; 2-point gait, 3-point gait, 4-point, and swing-to and swing-through. Therefore, it is not appropriate for Chic Aid to give guidance on use, you need individual assistance from a healthcare professional.
Generally, if you’re using one crutch, it is placed on the same side as the stronger leg and moves when the weaker one does. If you are using two crutches, you either move them both together or with the opposite leg. You may have to practice to get this right.
Using crutches can be very tiring, “did you know that the energy required to walk with crutches is approximately twice as much than to walk without any assistance at all!” So, most people combine them with using a wheelchair or a scooter.
Regular maintenance of crutches is essential to ensure safety. Checks should be made for signs of wear and tear, particularly at the site of screws and height adjustment mechanisms. Adjustable crutches can become worn around the joints and this can be dangerous if you don’t notice in time.
Crutches have rubber feet, called ferrules, which keep the crutches from slipping. Check these regularly for wear and replace them if necessary.
Replacement ferrules are easy to fit and you can also get special ferrules that give added grip or stability. Examine children’s crutches weekly to check for wear and tear.