One of the classic comedic bits is someone unable to use crutches properly and slipping or falling frequently. Slapstick aside, falling while using crutches is not a joke. Using improperly sized crutches can affect healing, and can also be painful and uncomfortable. The proper use of crutches is not intuitive and requires a bit of coordination. With adequate practice, knowledge, and good armpit strength, they can be used safely and effectively.
It Takes Some Know-How to Learn to Use Crutches Correctly
The most crucial facet of crutches is to make sure they fit correctly. This fitting process will make it much easier to use them effectively and comfortably. Proper crutches are set so that they are about two inches below the armpit when the user stands up straight. Anything else can strain the user's back, legs, arms, and make walking with the crutches challenging.
As for the handles, make sure they're at about hip height. This setting means the elbows are bent slightly when used for better leveraging. To ensure maximum comfort, ensure that the cushioning of the armpits, grips, and base is enough for the job. Those are the parts hardest to replace and yet arguably the most important. Using crutches becomes a lot more painful without them, which will inhibit daily life and cause a great deal of unnecessary pain.
With everything set to the right place and adequately padded, using a pair of crutches becomes much more manageable. One of the trickiest parts of crutches, getting out of a chair or bed, is as simple as gripping both crutches on the affected side and leveraging upright. Grab the armrest with a free hand, place weight on the good leg, and up the person goes. It can take a bit of practice to coordinate movement right but can be done with a bit of effort, careful coordination, and upper body strength.
Having to use crutches is never a fun experience. If they are not correctly adjusted for height and amply padded, their use becomes painful and awkward, which turns them into a comedic sketch rather than a tool of healing. Making sure crutches are padded and adjusted to the right height are vital to ensuring their use is as practical and comfortable as possible, ensuring easier use. It will also allow for a quicker recovery of the person stuck using them until their bones finish mending.
If you are experiencing hip pain, contact Dr. Dan Albright for a consultation. For an appointment, call 919-726-4366.