Crutches can make you cringe. First you hurt your leg and now the crutches end up hurting more than your leg. Its got your hands, wrist, elbows, armpit – you name it, almost everything – hurting. If this is what you are experiencing, try these tips. If they don’t help, well…we’ve got something for that too.
- Check if your crutches are adjusted correctly. The top of the crutch should 1-1.5 inches below your armpit, hand grip parallel to your hip, and your elbows should bend when you hold on to the hand grip. Using crutches that are not adjusted correctly compromises your posture and results to pain.
- Avoid resting on your crutches. Your underarms should not rest on it, and you should not lean on them. Use your hands & arm to bear the weight not your underarm. Resting on your crutches may damage your nerves. Use your hands to swing your body.
- Upper body pain. Your muscles are not used to having to work so much since your injury. Rest every once in a while, and if you can, start building your muscles and do some upper body exercises so you’d be able to better cope with crutches.
- Friction is also one of the causes of pain. As much as possible, dress in such a way that you could protect your skin from the rubbing you get with crutches. Add foam or pads on the underarm rest, and if crutches rub against your sides, try wrapping yourself with a towel or waist band.
- For calluses on the hands, you can pad your hand grip, but make sure that you use something that will not make your hands slip or you risk a fall. Some people even use bicycle riding gloves or weight lifting gloves.
- Pain in the hands, wrists and elbows are common complaints especially to those suffering from arthritis. Crutches can increase the pressure and the paind. If this is you, we strongly suggest you look into getting a seated scooter. Unlike crutches, this isn’t as straining or as demanding to the body.
- Take short steps, and move slowly. Whether its getting up from the chair or walking up or down the stairs, there is no shame to taking your time.
- Do not expect to be able and about, or resume your normal daily routine on crutches. Rest when tired or in pain. Your arms may not be accustomed to your weight, and overuse of these muscles lead to soreness and inflammation of your muscle tissues.
- Do stretching exercises often. When resting, take the chance to massage & stretch your muscles. This will reduce tension and will relieve some of your pain. Apply ice packs to sore muscles.