Whether you have been using crutches for years or be completely new to using them, you should know the correct way to walk with crutches…
How to walk with crutches
Before walking with your crutches, it is really important to make sure they are the correct height for you.
Some crutches are available with adjustment points both on the shaft and the cuff, to ensure a perfect fit. Some may only be available with an adjustable shaft. To measure for the correct height line up the handgrips with the wrist bone. The elbow cuff should cradle the forearm just below the elbow joint, so this does not restrict the movement of the elbow when on crutches. The Flexyfoot ferrule is a bit taller than a regular ferrule so make sure your crutches have been shortened so they are the correct height.
Crutches are designed to be used in pairs; however, they can be used individually
under guidance from a healthcare professional such as a physiotherapist.
Walking with crutches
You might think that you don’t need to learn how to walk with a walking aid, you’d be wrong. It’s not as easy as it looks and it definitely doesn’t come naturally. Crutches are often provided by a health professional and sometimes the ‘how’ is not always as well explained as the ‘why’.
Here are some basics to get you started. If you’re still having trouble, ask your local GP or physiotherapist for help.
- Lean your shoulders forward slightly, hold the top of your crutch tightly against your sides and use your hands to support your weight not your armpits.
- Stand on your strong leg and put your crutches about a foot in front of you.
- ‘Step’ with the crutches, shifting your weight off your leg and onto the crutches.
- Then swing your good leg forward between the crutches, back to its original position.
- When going upstairs, do it one step at a time. Step up with the good leg, and then bring the crutches up to the same step.
- When going downstairs, do the same. Place your crutches on the step below, then step down with the good leg.
- If you’re standing still, place our crutches about 8-10 inches before you and lean forward slightly.