Different Types Of Crutches & When To Use Them
Are you familiar with the different types of crutches?
Exploring all the different types of crutches will help you find the best fit for your injury and body type.
All the different types of crutches have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s important to select the proper type of crutch that will help you heal while providing you with the most comfort possible.
Crutches help you regain mobility by transferring weight from your legs to your upper body. Different injuries, body types or circumstances may make certain types of crutches better than others for you.
If you’ve been given crutches and find them hard to use, don’t hesitate to explore the different types of crutches available to you. You can also explore some alternatives to crutches here.
These are the most common type of crutch. Typically they are used when recovering from ankle or knee injuries.
Underarm crutches are adjustable to a person’s height and come with arm pads and handgrips for comfort.
For short term injuries, these are the easiest to use. They allow beginners to adapt to using the crutches quickly. You can read our article here on how to use underarm crutches.
If you have limited upper body strength, underarm crutches are the best option for you.
One downfall of this type of crutch is that people tend to slouch while using them. This is a bad habit to develop and can be hard to break.
Lofstrand Crutches – also known as elbow or forearm crutches
This type of crutch has an open cuff that grips around the user’s forearm. Forearm crutches are harder to learn how to use, but they boast certain advantages over underarm crutches. Elbow crutches force you to use good posture, and you’ll experience less back and neck problems.
Lofstrand crutches also feature an elbow cuff which helps to reduce strain and keep pressure off your wrist while moving. Because elbow crutches encourage proper posture and develop strength over time, these are the best option for long term use.
Another type of crutch is the Canadian crutch, also known as the elbow extension crutch. This kind of crutch is a combination of an underarm crutch and elbow crutch. Canadian crutches are traditional underarm crutches with an elbow cuff for added support.
Similar to lofstrand crutches, Canadian crutches increase your upper body strength over time. The stronger you are, the easier it is to swing yourself forward with this type of crutch.
Elbow extension crutches are recommended for people who have to use crutches on a long-term basis, as a part of their lifestyle. You can read up on how to use Canadian crutches here.
How do you decide?
If it’s a short term, non-serious injury, go with underarm crutches. If you plan on using the crutches on a long term basis, then forearm crutches will provide you with the benefits you need. Of course, you should always go with your doctor’s recommendation. They’ll be able to select the best types of crutches depending on your injury.
Even if you have a short-term injury, you may find forearm crutches to be more comfortable and give your more mobility. Use this article to guide you in trying out different types of crutches. Make sure you choose the kind of crutch that gives you the most support and feels best for your injury.
Hopefully, with the above information, you can decide which type of crutch is best for you. Once you have made your decision, be sure to read our guides on how to use underarm crutches and forearm crutches. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to explain the different types of crutches for you!