Forearm crutches are a common alternative to underarm crutches. They are also known as lofstrand or elbow crutches.
You can visualize the design of this crutch as an inverted cane. Your hands rest on the hand grips, and you lean back in the cuffs to balance yourself while moving. Our article here talks about how to use forearm crutches.
Forearm Crutches vs. Underarm crutches
What’s the difference with forearm crutches and underarm crutches? The overall design of forearm crutches appeals to long-term users. Underarm crutches are perfect for the short term, but cause you to develop bad posture over time.
Forearm crutches actually help build arm and back strength the more you use them. They also put less pressure on your wrists, which makes them a viable option for people with arthritis or bone conditions.
It’s easy to develop your own style of walking with forearm crutches. They also help you maintain good posture. All these factors make forearm crutches ideal for long-term use.
How to pick forearm crutches
There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a forearm crutch. The most obvious thing to remember is to make sure your crutch is appropriately sized. If it’s too big or too small, your balance and safety become at risk.
Here are some specific things to look for:
Materials to consider
Most forearm crutches are made from steel, metal or aluminum tubing.
Forearm crutches made from the stronger materials are heavier than regular aluminum crutches. Forearm crutches made out of aluminum tubing are generally lightweight, but they aren’t as durable.
If you’re a heavy person and need extra support, then it’s worth it to go for the stronger materials. For children or temporary users, aluminum-tubing crutches should work fine.
Safety features to consider
When looking at the specifications of each crutch, always pay attention to the crutch tips. Large tips are great for added stability especially if your injury or condition makes it hard to maintain your balance. Large tips are an important safety feature for keeping your balance on different surfaces.
Since most of your body weight will be balanced with your hands and rested on the elbow cuffs, you want to make sure the hand grips are comfortable. Vinyl handgrips and cuffs are generally soft and comfortable.
Materials like hard plastic can get uncomfortable with continuous use. Make sure you read a few user reviews to get an idea of how they feel while in use.
Medline Aluminum Crutch
These forearm crutches from Medline offer an enjoyable user experience. Both the handgrips and arm cuffs are coated with vinyl and tapered to allow for proper cushioning. These crutches are adjustable with external lock nuts and are silent while being adjusted.
The black design hides some signs of wear and tear on your crutches. Medline offers these crutches in Adult, Tall and Youth sizes. Double check that you have the appropriate size before ordering.
These crutches are a decent option at a reasonable price. The cuff and hand grip are one piece molded plastic, and the rest of the crutch is lightweight aluminum. You may want to consider buying some handgrip pads for these crutches since the grips have no vinyl covering.
This is one of the lighter forearm crutches you’ll find with both crutches weighing only 3 pounds. Being as they are lightweight crutches, they are only recommended for people between 60 and 75 inches tall. The handgrip height is adjustable in 1-inch increments.