Are Crutches Or Wheelchairs Better?

Were you aware that millions of people globally use wheelchairs and crutches?

Those who need a mobility aid often ask themselves if they should use crutches or a wheelchair.

We have found that crutches are better suited to short-term care or less debilitating mobility illnesses. In contrast, wheelchairs are suitable for long-term care and serious health conditions. 

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    A Comparison Of Crutches Vs. Wheelchairs By Looking At 9 Different Aspects

    After lots of research, we have compared both so that you can make a wise decision about which crutches and wheelchairs are ideal for you. 

    1.Weight Restrictions

    Weight-Restrictions for crutche and knee scooters

    Arguably, weight restrictions are among the most important elements. You must consider how much you weigh when deciding between crutches and wheelchairs. You may injure yourself further if you choose a mobility aid with the wrong weight range.

    It’s believed that most crutches have a weight capacity between 150 and 300 pounds. Few companies make crutches capable of supporting people heavier than 300 pounds. 

    This is because crutches with a 300-pound or more weight limit need a much sturdier design. Essentially, they need to be safe for heavier users. Most companies don’t want to pay more to make crutches with an increased weight limit of over 300 pounds. 

    In contrast, lightweight wheelchairs have weight limits of between 200 and 250 pounds. Yet, basic wheelchairs are made with weight limits of 250 to 350 pounds. Additionally, heavy-duty wheelchairs have weight limits of upwards of 700 pounds. 

    2.Body Strength

    Another important element to consider when choosing between crutches and wheelchairs is price. You can find out the price of wheelchairs and crutches online or at a physical store. 

    It is estimated that the average price for a pair of underarm crutches is between $20 to $50 and the average price for forearm crutches is between $30 to $200. The price of crutches is depend on the brand and the materials used. 

    But, the price of wheelchairs is more varied. On average, the cost of a wheelchair is between $500 and $1,500. Yet, how cheap or expensive a wheelchair is depend on the type you’re going to buy. Many manual wheelchairs are around $100 and up. Yet, an electric wheelchair can cost as much as $30,000 if it’s a top-of-the-line model. 

    3.Price

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    Most people can build the upper body strength needed for crutches or a wheelchair. Yet, not everyone has the time or willingness. If body strength is a huge factor in your decision, you might want to consider your options. 

    For example, you might prefer crutches if you only need to use a mobility device in the short or moderately long term. With crutches, you won’t need to build up much body strength. If you have a debilitating disease or maneuverability problems with your legs, a wheelchair is usually a better choice. You will still need to build muscle strength because you will be using it indefinitely. 

    If you have a problem with building body strength, you can choose an electric wheelchair. Yet as mentioned before, these are often pricey. 

    4.Weather Resistance

    Unfortunately, most wheelchairs and crutches are not wholly waterproof. Crutches tend to be more waterproof. They have fewer components that water and sunlight can damage. 

    For example, crutches are built to be harder as some can be used for hiking and walking on rugged terrain. Most crutches also have waterproof padding. In contrast, wheelchairs often don’t have waterproof seating. They also have fabric that can become moldy if not dried correctly. 

    How weather-resistant the wheelchairs and crutches are will depend on how they are made and their materials. 

    5.Long Term Utility

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    In most cases, people get the most use for the longest time out of wheelchairs than they do crutches. 

    This is because wheelchairs are usually far more stable than crutches. They are also often built to last longer. Yet this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a lot of use out of crutches if you buy a pair that has been built to last. 

    Moreover, it’s estimated that the average lifespan of a wheelchair is four years and four months. Manual ones last up to five years if used often. Premium quality crutches last about the same amount of time. Yet, cheaper alternatives last less time. 

    6.Everyday Applications

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    Whether crutches or a wheelchair is better for everyday applications will depend on your lifestyle and mobility. Should you have a limited range of motion, a wheelchair is better for daily activities.

    With a wheelchair, you cango to the bathroom, cook a meal, do some laundry, and do other tasks more conveniently. You need some tips for doing these things on crutches.

    Are you an active person that only needs to use a mobility aid in the short term? If so, you should consider crutches for everyday applications. With crutches, you can do much of what you did before. This is because you only need to adapt to life on crutches for a few weeks or months. 

    7.Comfort And Convenience

    Most people state that crutches are less comfortable and convenient than a wheelchair. This is especially true if there is someone to help you around the house. Additionally, wheelchairs are far more comfortable if you have an electric model. They are also more convenient if there is someone to push you around.

    Electric models will allow you to do what you need to without needing much body strength. You also won’t need much help from people in your life. Yet, crutches are often hard to learn and navigate. This is especially true if you have a lifelong condition, not a short-term injury. 

    8.Safety

    Both crutches and wheelchairs are safe depending on the brand you get and how well it has been built. Generally, crutches are slightly safer. This is because most people using crutches have more control, especially when climbing inclines and on rough terrain. 

    Those in a wheelchair can tip out on rough terrain or slip backward when going up an incline. Usually, this happens if they don’t have assistance or a helper. Yet, there are safe wheelchairs with safety features that can keep you safer than crutches. 

    9.Is it A Burden On The Body?

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    Both crutches and wheelchairs can burden the body if you don’t know how to use either mobility aid properly. Fortunately, many guides and tutorial videos can help teach you how to use both correctly

    There are also specific seated exercises that people can do to help them use wheelchairs and crutches.

    If you build up enough upper body strength and stamina, you should have no issue using either mobility aid. 

    • If you don’t have a moderate to high budget for a mobility aid. 
    • You shouldn’t use one if it does not have breaks. 
    • You shouldn’t use a knee scooter if it does not match your weight. 

    The Wrap-Up!

    Whether you use crutches or a wheelchair depends on your short-term or long-term mobility issues. It’ll also largely depend on how much you want to spend and how often you want to use your mobility aid. 

    Generally speaking, crutches are better for those with short or middle-term use. Or they are great for those who have the upper body strength and willingness to learn how to navigate life on crutches. Yet, wheelchairs are ideal for those with limited mobility in the long term. They are also perfect for those with serious injury that prevents them from walking. 

    Are you still unsure whether should use crutches? Read this article to see when to use the crutches.