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The thought of walking with crutches is easy until you try it. Some of the common discomforts when it comes to using crutches are sore armpits, shoulder pain, and hand pains. If you’re going to use a pair for a long time, along with proper usage, you can add attachments to crutches and make your mobility more comfortable.
For example, you can add crutch cushions to see if that will do it for you.
Read on for more thoughtful ideas on how to make crutches more comfortable.
How to Make Crutches More Comfortable
Method 1: Crutch cushion handle padding
If you’re looking for padding, the solution is to use cushioned handles. Whenever you put weight on a handle, handle padding softens the impact.
These crutch pads usually have foam padding to make the padding more comfortable. Friction-enhancing materials like gel are also common. Install the pads on crutches by following these steps:
1. Choose the correct size handle paddings for your crutch with a comfortable grip.
2. Adding pads is easy. Wrap the pads around and attach the fastener under the pad.
Try it out to make sure the new additional pads are secure.
Method 2: DIY crutch cushions
If you’re looking for a DIY method, adding cushioning is as simple as using old towels, old tshirts and duct tape. Your crutches can be padded with almost any fabric as long as it is comfortable and provides cushioning.
1. Fold your towel (or choice of cushioning) so that it is wider than the top cushion of your crutch.
2. Wrap duct tape around the fabric that surrounds the top of the crutches.
3. While using crutches, make sure that your padding does not shift or roll. You could get additional discomfort if the padding moves.
It can be hard to prevent the DIY fabric cushion from shifting after you pad it. You can try heavy duty double sided tape between the pad and crutch.
Alternatively, it may be worth it to buy pre-made crutch cushions or explore other types of walking devices.
Method 3: Adjust crutches if necessary
Different people have different experiences when using crutches. Finding the right crutch with appropriate dimensions is one of the keys to comfort. Using a crutch that is too high will make it impossible for the you to grip it correctly. In contrast, leaning the crutches too low can cause back, shoulder, and neck pain.
If you ordered crutches through your physician, it’s likely that there was careful consideration given to your height. However, make sure that the crutches you borrow from friends or family are the correct size. If possible, have the crutches adjusted at the clinic before you head out.
In any case, you can check and adjust the crutches at home. Follow these DIY steps to adjust your crutches.
- Observe the push pins along the crutches. Newer crutches are marked by height. Adjust this to your height.
2. Now, stand up and put the crutches on your sides like you would be standing with them. You should be able to comfortable put 2 fingers between the armpit and armpit handle. Adjust the crutches to match this height.
3. Stand up with the crutches again, and put your arm straight down the crutches. Your wrist should be the same level as the hand handle. Adjust the handle to match this height.
Method 4: Take smaller steps to start
When you use crutches, smaller steps will be safer and more comfortable. In contrast, larger strides require more energy. Though the latter method seems faster and more efficient, you could put pressure in your armpits, shoulders, back, and arms if you aren’t used to it.
Method 5: Consider getting other crutch tips
There are different types of crutch tips that come in handy in different situations. If the user wants more stability while moving, he or she will be more comfortable in using tips with a wider surface area.
To avoid falls while using crutches, the crutches you choose need to have good traction so you won’t slip from underneath. Typically, crutches have rubber tips on their feet. If the floor is slippery with wax or ice, you can add safer traction crutch feet. It is also a good idea to dry off crutches and shoes after coming in from outside if there is rain or ice on the ground.
Method 6: Choose a crutch alternative
You will never be able to make your crutches perfectly comfortable no matter how many times you cushion them or adjust them. You may want to consider crutch alternatives if your crutches don’t work for you. In case you have pain from regular crutches, here are some alternatives you might want to consider.
With these crutches, you can maintain full mobility and get around comfortably. You can walk comfortably with the hands-free knee clutch. It has a custom fit so it fits snugly. Crutches such as these are the best option for lower-body injuries.
Knee scooters are an excellent option for people with injuries below the knee, similar to a hands-free crutch. Using them is quick and easy, but steering with your hands requires some effort, and on uneven surfaces, they can be difficult.
Wheelchairs are another comfortable option. It takes your hands to use, but you will remain off your feet and won’t be uncomfortable while navigating. A downside is that you need to make sure you can use your wheelchair everywhere you go, so you’ll have to look for accessible buildings and ramps.
For your injury recovery, you should get the right crutches that are comfortable and safe for you. Consult with your doctor or physical therapist to ensure you get the right equipment for your injuries.
The best way for how to make crutches more comfortable is to add crutch pads and handgrips, as well as additional safety features like traction tips. During the recovery period from your injury, you can make a couple of adjustments to make the experience as pleasant as possible by following the methods mentioned above.