Injuries and chronic medical conditions don't have to keep you or your loved one sidelined. With mobility aids, it's possible to move independently and continue to live life to the fullest. If your medical provider has recommended crutches for you or your loved one, CVS can help you find the perfect pair for your needs with a wide range of products that you can purchase online.
What Are Crutches?
A crutch is a mobility aid that is used in pairs. The purpose of crutches is to make it possible for users to walk without putting all or any of their body weight on one leg. Crutches are often used by people who are recovering from strains, sprains or broken bones. A health care professional can help you decide if crutches are the right choice of mobility aid for you or your loved one.
Underarm crutches are a commonly used type of crutches and are what most people picture when they hear the word. These crutches have one leg attached to two metal tubes. A hand grip runs between the two tubes and is padded to provide a comfortable grip. At the top, there is a crutch pad that fits under the armpit. To walk, with your injured leg off the ground, place the crutches about 1 foot in front of you, lean forward and swing your strong leg forward.
Forearm crutches are preferred by some individuals with limited mobility because they place less pressure under the arms and can be more comfortable for long-term use. A forearm crutch has one long leg with a hand grip and a cuff that fits onto the forearm. These crutches can support about 40 to 50 percent of a person's body weight and are mostly recommended for individuals who just need upper body support while they walk.
Hands Free Crutches
A hands-free crutch is a newer mobility aid option that is intended for individuals who cannot put any weight on an injured limb. The crutch has one tip attached to a platform with straps and a cuff. A user secures the cuff around their thigh and secures their shin to the platform with their leg bent. With this unique design, hands-free crutches make it possible to walk without having to grip a mobility aid. Individuals must typically have good balance to walk with a hands-free crutch.
How To Use Crutches
When you break a bone in your leg or foot, have a strain or sprain, or have surgery in the lower extremity, a doctor might recommend the use of crutches. It is important to know how to use crutches the correct way.
• Proper positioning begins with standing up straight. The top of the crutches should be 1-2 inches below the armpit.
• The handgrips of the crutches should be even with the top of your hip line.
• Elbows should be slightly bent when holding onto the grips.
• To make sure you do not damage nerves and blood vessels in the armpit, the body's weight should rest on the hands and not on the underarms.
How To Walk With Crutches
Here are steps one can use when learning how to use crutches for the first time. • Lean forward slightly and put your crutches about one foot in front of you • Begin your step as if you were going to use the injured foot or leg then shift your weight to the crutches • Bring your body forward slowly between the crutches • Finish the step normally with your good leg • When your good leg is on the ground, move your crutches ahead in preparation for your next step • Always look forward, not at your feet