Are you ready to say I DO to the crutches of your dreams?
Choosing the right crutch is about as important as choosing a life partner. Well, maybe not as dramatic, but it’s important. The perfect fit will benefit your elbows and underarm immensely as they bear most of the brunt work during the walking process. There are two types of crutches that will assist your mobility per your injury. Factors that should affect your decision are posture, comfort, upper body strength and the amount of walking and terrains you will walk on. The first being the auxiliary crutch, better known as the underarm crutch, which does as the latter name suggests. The main support is offered through the underarm. This crutch is mainly used for those who have minor ailments and will only need a short time for recovery. Therefore, if you have an ankle or knee injury, this would be the crutch that you would choose. The second type of crutch is called the forearm or elbow crutch. This one is used more in long term injuries or illness.
The different designs of the two types of crutches are specifically made for different injuries. Since different muscle groups all play a vital role in allowing you to walk, you will need to assess your fitness.
Why choose the Forearm crutch:
The forearm crutch, as stated above, is used more in long term healing. These crutches require more upper body physical strength to master the art of walking correctly. They do however also offer a greater amount of control over your movements. Those who choose to walk over rough terrains and stair-laden areas, would find it easier to manage with forearm crutches. Your posture will also be affected less negatively with these crutches as they are easier to use when the individual stands up straighter, therefore promoting the user to keep good posture. Even though these crutches are more difficult to coordinate than underarm crutches they do have the positive aspect of being far more comfortable due to the lack of pressure against the body and armpit.
Why choose the Underarm crutch:
If upper body strength is not your strongest fitness point, then these crutches could possibly be for you as they do not require as much upper body strength as forearm crutches. The underarm crutch is used in short term injuries and illness. It’s vital that they are fitted correctly as your health may depend on it. The pressure exerted on your underarms is massive and constant and therefore can affect the nerves under your arms. Posture is another aspect that is affected if using poorly fitted underarm crutches. It is easy to hunch the back and this may cause a new set of aches and pains. If you are a person who cannot easily balance and synchronize themselves, then this will be a better option for you. Underarm crutches, therefore, can be less comfortable even though it is easier to use and master.
Investing in your equipment:
Cost and quality often go hand in hand. Although some medical equipment can range into the hundreds of dollars you should take the extra time to research. Know that you have a choice and an investment in your equipment can really pay off when it comes to comfort and safety. One slip and fall on poor equipment can cost you much more than 30-50$. Crutch tips, for example, are a great first investment while on crutches. They can increase traction, stability, and even the efficiency of walking on crutches.
If none of the above appeals to you at all, there are other forms of walking aids which are available. Knee walkers and wheelchairs of two of these different options even though they may have a whole set of different challenges to master.