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CRUTCH TIPS FOR USING CRUTCHES

My wife, who is battling Rheumatoid Arthritis and its many effects, has been on crutches many times in her life. She helped to create our various crutches accessories and has been the inspiration for starting this company. Since she has been on crutches a great deal, I have gathered the important crutch tips that were provided to her. The following, is a list of the most helpful crutch tips I have found. I hope they will provide as much support and comfort to you as they did to her. Crutch tips include: fit; sitting and standing; walking; using stairs, and riding in cars.

CRUTCH TIPS: FIT

  1. Make sure you have the right fit when you are standing upright in a relaxed position. The top of your Crutch Caps should be one to two finger widths below your armpit. 
  2. Your crutches should have rubber suction tips that prevent sliding. Please use our underarm pads to add comfort while on crutches.
  3. Be sure you are standing upright and have your stance adjusted to stay balanced. 
  4. Your elbows should be bent to around 20 to 30 degrees.
  5. The crutch pads should rest on your rib cage.

SITTING AND STANDING

SITTING DOWN:

  1. When sitting down, be sure your chair, wheelchair or stool will not move!
  2. Put your backside toward the chair and have your uninjured leg against the chair.
  3. Hold your crutches by the hand grip pads in front and off to the side.
  4. Place your other hand on the armrest or the seat of the chair.
  5. Lower yourself to the chair while also extending your injured leg or foot out in front of you.
  6. Gently, slide back in the chair.

STANDING UP:

  1. When standing, be sure your chair, wheelchair or stool will not move!
  2. Gently, scoot to the front of the chair while also placing the injured foot or leg straight in front of you.
  3. Put your crutches together in a vertical, upright position.
  4. Hold onto the hand grip pads with one hand.
  5. Use the other hand to push up from the chair.
  6. Before walking, make sure you are balanced and feel strong.

WALKING:

Your doctor or medical team should give you guidelines for how much weight to bear on your injured leg or foot. Make sure to follow all of their directions.

PARTIAL OR TOE TOUCH WEIGHT BEARING:

  1. Stand, making sure you are balanced and feeling strong!
  2. Put your injured foot or leg in front of you and balance using the palms and your grip pads. Be sure to place only the amount of weight prescribed by your doctor or medical team on your injury.
  3. Step ahead with your strong leg.
  4. Continue carefully, making sure you notice the differences in walking surfaces. Be especially aware of wet and uneven surfaces.

NO WEIGHT BEARING:

  1. Stand, making sure you are balanced and feeling strong!
  2. Bend the knee of your injured leg or lift your entire leg up a bit to keep it off of the ground.
  3. Move your crutches forward and place your weight on the palms and your handle grip pads.
  4. Swing your legs through, but be careful not to lose your balance! Take it slow, it is not worth further injuring yourself.
  5. Land on your strong leg in front of the crutches. Make sure you keep any weight off of your injured leg.
  6. Continue carefully, making sure you notice the differences in walking surfaces. Be especially aware of wet and uneven surfaces.

USING STAIRS

My wife had a clever phrase that one of her first physical therapists taught. It was, "up with the good and down with the bad." Hopefully, you will remember it too.

GOING UP STAIRS WITHOUT RAILINGS:

  1. Stand in front of the stairs. Make sure you are balanced and feeling strong because this will take some time and energy.
  2. Step up with your strong, "good" leg. While doing this, make sure you are pushing down on the hand grips of your crutches.
  3. Straighten out your "good" leg. Bring your "bad" leg and the crutches up to the same level as you.
  4. Continue carefully, making sure you feel strong and balanced at all times.

GOING DOWN STAIRS WITHOUT RAILINGS:

  1. Stand in front of the staircase going down. Make sure you are balanced and feeling strong!
  2. Keep all of the weight on your strong/"good" leg while also placing the tip of your crutches on the first step down.
  3. Move down with your injured/"bad" leg. Be sure you are supporting the weight through the hand grips of your crutches and you are bending your "good" leg. Take this slow and easy!
  4. Move your strong "good" leg down to the same step.
  5. If you are still feeling balanced, continue this process to the bottom of the steps.

GOING UP STAIRS WITH RAILINGS:

  1. Stand in front of the stairs. Make sure you are balanced and feeling strong because this will take some time and energy.
  2. Use one hand to hold the railing and the other hand to hold your grip pads on the extra crutch in horizontal position next to you.
  3. Step up with your "good" leg while using the rail and the crutches hand grip pads for support.
  4. Straighten your "good" leg and bring the other leg plus the crutches up to the same level.

Note: If the stairs have railings on both sides, use the railing on your injured/"bad" side.

GOING DOWN STAIRS WITH RAILINGS:

  1. Stand in front of the stairs. Make sure you are balanced and feeling strong because this will take some time and energy.
  2. Use one hand to hold the railing and the other hand to hold the handle grip pads of the extra crutch in horizontal position next to you.
  3. Place all of your weight on the "good" leg and place the crutches on the first step down.
  4. Extend your "bad" leg forward. Be sure you are supporting the weight through the hand grip pads of your crutches and also the railing.
  5. Move your "good" leg down to the same step.

Note: If stairs have railings on both sides, use the railing that is on your "good" side, unless that makes things more awkward and difficult.

RIDING IN A CAR

This was always tough for my wife. For her injuries, she would always hope the driver took the corners slowly and missed the majority of the bumps.

GETTING IN THE FRONT SEAT:

  1. Move the front seat as far back as possible.
  2. Carefully, lower your body to the side of the seat. Use  your "good" leg to push back into the seat.
  3. Lift and gently turn your "bad" leg into the car. Be careful and take your time on this step because it might be painful.
  4. Buckle your safety belt and you are ready to go.

Note: Be sure to follow all of your doctor/medical teams directions.

GETTING OUT OF THE CAR:

  1. Slide to the edge of the seat.
  2. Gently, lift and turn your injured / "bad" leg and your "good" leg out of the car.
  3. Use the car and your crutches for support as you gently ease yourself out of the seat.
  4. Find your balance and make sure you are strong enough to proceed forward.

Crutch Caps provides this educational information as a public service to you, for informational purposes only. This information was provided to my wife during her time of need in regards to using crutches. This information is common knowledge and in no way replaces information from your medical professionals or from any medical advice and/or treatment. Always use and or seek the advice of a medical professionals. Crutch Caps is not responsible for injuries caused by the use of their product.

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