When getting any piece of accessory, we make sure it fits us rather than trying to fit into it. The same goes for crutches – they are supposed to feel like an extra limb and provide the support and reliability of one in some cases.

Choosing a random crutch that somebody recommended might not only end up uncomfortable and painful but can also make your injury worse. More than attractive features or mechanisms, the primary factor to keep in mind is your requirements for a crutch in the first place. Ask yourself the simplest of questions – what do you use it for? How frequently will you use crutches? and most importantly, what kind of support do you require?

Crutches are used for support in various situations ranging from short-term injuries to long-term disabilities. A person just learning to use crutches and needs to master them quickly has different priorities than someone who has been using them for years and relies on them constantly.

To begin with a simple breakdown of the different types of crutches, they can be classified based on where it is placed on your body. For example:

  • Underarm crutches – to point out the obvious, underarm crutches are placed under your arm with no straps to your body. They can be easily used, balanced, and adjusted but often tires you out.
  • Forearm crutches – these come with a cuff to fasten it to your elbows and handles to support. It is more suitable for those who might permanently need crutches.
  • Forearm support crutches – these are a lot like the forearm crutches but with the added convenience of adjustable grip and cushioned forearm support. Needless to say, these types of crutches are helpful to those who heavily rely on one.
  • Leg support crutches – these are specially designed when the support is required for just one leg. It helps to rest the affected leg on a knee pad while the extended part of the crutch allows you to walk. It is fixed to your thigh and calf with straps, thereby requiring no support with arms.

All of the above types come with their pros and cons. Elbow crutches require some practice to master but provide more comfort and aid in maintaining proper posture in the long run. On the other hand, underarm crutches are very easy for a beginner but can be painful for the hands and wrists. As mentioned earlier, the frequency of use and needs of the person should be the determining factors when choosing any of these.

Accessories make life better!

Now that you have decided on the type of crutches you will use, how do you ensure it has everything to suit your needs? The answer is add-ons. You don’t have to use a crutch, just like how you first saw it. Customization is out there for a reason. Many accessories are readily available that can be used to make it easier and more fitting for your lifestyle.

The underarm ache that comes with axillary crutches can be significantly reduced by using extra pads and grips on the crutches. These materials range from fluffy fleece to non-latex covers and soft gel pads. These types of pads can be attached to the cuff of a forearm crutch as well and serve the same purpose there. The traction of a crutch may also be improved by using latex-free crutch tips or even an ice crutch attachment for those snowy winter days.

The strength, balance, and comfort any pair of crutches provide can only be figured out by using them. Always remember to practice on a crutch while considering these factors from every angle before you make a decision.

I know what you’re thinking: “Someone should have invented smarter crutches by now”

I was thinking the same thing. So, in case you haven’t guessed by now, we have developed a new product to solve this and many other common issues for crutch users.

The product is called crutchgecko.  It can help you overcome all of the above problems related to climbing stairs with crutches.  If you want to learn more the product can be found here.