How to Use Crutches the Right Way
You might think you know how to use crutches. Yes! What does it take? Is it not about propping yourself with the crutches under your arm? Next, you try to walk around, placing your weight on the crutches? Well, you might be correct, but that’s not all there’s to using crutches.
Crutches are not your typical fashion item.It only becomes necessary if you suffer a stroke, undergo a lower leg or knee procedure. So, you would need one to allow your bones to heal without exerting pressure on the spot.
That again means you need to learn how to walk again! Better still, how to use crutches! So, let’s get started!
Walking with Crutches
Steps to Walking with Crutches
Prop both crutches with your upper arm while it aligns to your sides. Ensure the weight stays on your hand and ribs and not your armpit.
Try moving forward simultaneously with the crutches and a leg.
Position the uninjured leg in a way to give your body balance.
Now, try to move forward with the injured leg. It should between the two crutches. Also, only put as much weight as your injured leg can absorb.
Push the bulk of the weight to your hand and arm.
Keep your elbows in a straight position. Then, move forward with the uninjured leg next.
Make this motion repeatedly. So, it’s crutches first, injured and the uninjured leg.
How to Sit After Standing with Crutches
It takes a bit of effort to sit when using crutches. So, do this:
Stand with the chair behind you.
Keep the weight on the uninjured leg.
Place the two crutches in one hand, holding the handgrip.
Stretch your second hand gently to hold the armrest of the chair.
Push the uninjured leg back to the chair while leaning forward.
Try to sit down gently before putting the crutches within reach.
Standing from a Sitting Position
It would help if you stood up after sitting for a while. But you do still need your crutches. So, here is what to do:
Steps to Standing
Reach out for the two crutches.
Hold them both on the one hand and by the handgrips.
Position the uninjured foot properly to gain balance.
Prop your weight on the one hand by the chair’s armrest.
Gain balance and push yourself up gently.
As you raise yourself, position the crutches under the arm.
Remember to use the uninjured leg to maintain balance.
Place the second crutches under the second arm and stand up fully.
How to use crutches on stairs？
For stairs with hand railing, you can place the two crutches in one hand. Then use the other free hand to hold the rail. Hold the railings firm to prop yourself up when ascending or descending.
Going up the Stairs
Place the two crutches in one hand if you intend to hold the railing. Let the handrail serve as support for the second hand.
Place your uninjured leg on the first step at the bottom.
Prop yourself to climb up with the uninjured leg.
With a grip on the crutches handgrip, raise the injured leg to the side of the uninjured leg.
Now, continue this motion till you get to the up of the stairs.
Going down the stairs
Carefully stand at the first steps at the top.
Place your arm on the hand railing and move as you take each step gradually.
First, move the crutches, then the injured leg, and finally the uninjured leg.
Please repeat the process till you finally get downstairs.
How to Walk with One Crutch?
Using a single crutch could be more technical and discomforting. But you can start by placing the crutch under the opposite arm. If your injury occurred on the right leg, then the crutches should be under the left arm. It will help you distribute the weight better.
Steps To Walk with One Crutch
Place the crutch under the opposite arm.
Hold the handgrip to be more stable.
When walking, start by moving the crutches and injured leg forward at the same time. Next is to move the uninjured leg. Please repeat this process till you get to your destination.
Using a 4-Point-Gail-style
There are various points or patterns for walking with crutches. The 4-point-Gail-style becomes more useful for a person with weakness in the muscle. However, it is a bit technical and should only be by recommendation from your therapist. To use this technic, your therapist will recommend weight-bearing or partial weight-bearing. It depends on what works for your situation.
Steps To Use a 4-Point-Gail-style
Raise the right foot and move forward with it gently.
Raise the left foot forward but make sure it aligns with the right crutch.
Now, it’s time to raise the left crutch and move forward.
Then, you move the right leg forward and make sure it aligns with the left crutch.
Now, you have to keep repeating the above process to walk effectively.
Also, if you feel more comfortable starting with the left foot, it’s still perfect. Make sure to continue the process – left to right.
Full-Body Chair Exercises
Exercises help keep the body in shape and fit. It becomes even more necessary when using crutches. But when on a chair for too long, you can still do some basic body exercises to help. You can participate in cardio workouts when on a chair.
Your therapist will should you a list of exercises to carry out. But part of what you should do while seated includes bending the upper body. You could also stretch, move the upper body to the left or right. Move your legs to various positions for as much as it’s comfortable. Stretch the body to gain more mobility.
Steps To Chair Exercises
Use cardio without wheels or arms for safety during exercise. It restricts chair movement.
Push your body forward a bit from the chair.
Place your two arms on your knees and gently raise your heels up and down.
Next, push your left foot forward and place the heel down with your toes facing up. Now, switch sessions – heel up-down, toe up-down, heel toe on your left leg. After about ten times, you can switch from the left to the right foot. You could do this as fast or slow as you can.
You can also act like you are swimming in water. Move your two arms in circular motions around, forward-backward. You could also create circular motions with your legs. Just change the directions as you wish. Think of a soccer ball and act like you are dribbling while sitting at the edge of a seat. You can imagine you are swimming, you are boxing and hit into the air. Another exercise could be running on a spot with the arm and leg body movement.
You can do push up or press up with your hands, but this time into the air. The more intense your activity is the faster your heartbeat.
Now, you know how to use crutches better. Yes, agreed, it’s frustrating being on crutches. You are not able to do the things you love to do the most. Please be patient. Till you could get the full use of your body back, these procedures can help.
Whatever crutches you purchase, please ensure they keep you comfortable. Crutches with padded shoulders, rubber tips, and hand grips will do. If you experience much strain, maybe you don’t have the suitable crutches adjustments.
Remember to use supportive shoes rather than slippers and avoid standing too long on the injury. You still don’t feel comfortable enough on crutches? Then speak with your therapist about using a walker. Your therapist should be your best friend to get well faster.
Related Reading: Great Workouts You Can Have While On Crutches