How To Walk On Crutches
Walking with crutches can be a challenging task, especially for those who are new to using them. Whether you are required to walk with crutches due to an injury, surgery, or any other medical condition, it is essential to learn the proper techniques to ensure safety and comfort. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to walk on crutches, including partial weight-bearing, using stairs, and sitting and standing with crutches.
Walking With Crutches Partial Weight-Bearing
When walking with crutches, it is crucial to maintain the correct posture and positioning to avoid any further strain or injury. Keep the crutches under your arms and close to your sides, ensuring that the top of the crutches is squeezed into your sides while putting weight on your hands and not through your armpits. It is important not to lean on the crutches with your armpits. Move the crutches forward six to 12 inches, pushing down on the handgrips as you step forward with your injured leg. Always remember to put the designated weight on your injured leg before stepping through with your healthy leg. The sequence of walking with crutches properly is: crutches forward, injured leg forward, then step through with the healthy leg.
It is crucial to follow your doctor’s weight-bearing instructions by only putting the amount of weight ordered by your doctor onto your injured leg. This will aid in the healing process and prevent any further complications.
Using Stairs With Crutches Partial Weight-Bearing
When using stairs with crutches, it is essential to exercise caution and follow the correct technique to ensure safety. To go upstairs, begin close to the bottom step and step up with your healthy leg first, followed by lifting up the crutches and then the injured leg. It is important to check your balance before continuing to the next step. If there is a sturdy handrail available, it can be used for additional support. When going downstairs with crutches, start at the edge of the step, keeping your hips beneath you. Place your crutches on the lower step, followed by your injured leg, and then the healthy leg. Always ensure to check your balance before continuing and bend at the hips and knees to prevent leaning forward, which could lead to a fall.
How To Sit and Stand With Crutches
Sitting and standing with crutches require careful maneuvering to ensure stability and safety. To sit in a chair, back up until you feel the chair on the back of your legs. Place both crutches in the hand of your injured side and hold your injured leg out in front of you as you reach back for the chair with your other hand. Lower yourself slowly to the chair, bending at your hips. To stand back up, do the reverse by reaching for the chair with one hand while holding the crutches in the other hand and slowly rising from the chair.
1. How do I adjust my crutches for maximum comfort?
Most crutches can be adjusted using a sliding mechanism. It is advisable to seek assistance from a healthcare provider or physical therapist to ensure the crutches are fitted to your height and provide maximum comfort.
2. When should I use crutches?
Crutches are commonly used during the recovery phase after an injury, surgery, or to aid mobility. Your healthcare provider or orthopedist will advise you on the duration and proper usage of crutches based on your specific condition.
3. How much weight can I bear with crutches?
The amount of weight or pressure you can put on your leg, knee, ankle, or foot with crutches depends on your recovery stage and the instructions provided by your healthcare provider. It is essential to adhere to the weight-bearing guidelines to avoid any complications.
4. What are the different types of crutches?
There are various types of crutches, including underarm crutches, forearm crutches, and gutter crutches. The type of crutch required will depend on your specific needs and the recommendation of your healthcare provider.
5. How do I make crutches more comfortable?
Adjusting your crutches to your height and ensuring the handgrips and underarm supports are padded and comfortable can significantly enhance the comfort level. It is also important to keep the crutch tips covered with grooved rubber for stability and safety.
6. How do I walk with one crutch?
After certain injuries or surgeries, your healthcare provider may recommend the use of a single crutch. In such cases, it is important to follow the specific instructions provided and ensure that the weight is distributed appropriately to avoid any strain or imbalance.