Crutches – Types of Crutches
When you suddenly find the need for walking support it can be quite daunting to wade through the many options on offer. This search may be due to injury or for post-surgery support. In this blog post we want to give you a basic run down of the types of crutches available. This may seem like a simple option up front, but the different types of crutches work differently, and one pair may work better for one person and another type for one person.
The first thing that is important when choosing a pair of crutches is to ascertain how long you will need the crutches and how far do you intend to travel. This is important as some crutches will simply be enough to get you around the house and come at a much cheaper price. But due to their simplicity and lack of orthopaedic design, they can be uncomfortable for long term usage or for travelling longer distances. After working out how long you will need your crutches and how far you intend to travel you are ready to look at the pros and cons of the different types available.
Below is a comparison of the different options available:
Axillary Crutches - Traditional/classic design
The first type of crutches is what are commonly called Axillary Crutches. These types of crutches are what one generally thinks about when they think about crutches. They can be made from wood but are now commonly made of aluminium. Axillary Crutches certainly do the job to get you from A to B, but for longer distances or long-term usage they can be quite uncomfortable and have even been said to cause nerve damage to the underarm area.
Easy learning curve
Can be adjusted
Not comfortable. Has been known to cause nerve damage to under arm area.
Can only make slight adjustments
Not good for longer distances
The second option are forearm crutches, which can also be referred to as Canadian crutches, Lofstram crutches, or elbow crutches. They have different mechanics to axillary crutches. The user's body weight is not supported by the underarms, but rather the forearms, wrists and shoulders. There are a few advantages over the underarm, axillary crutches. The most important benefit is they are less likely to damage your armpit nerves since the resting pressure of your body weight isn’t on your armpits. Depending on the user, forearm crutches can put a lot of pressure on the wrists. The user's balance and weight is shifted forward which can put consequential strain on the upper body.
Doesn’t put pressure on the underarm area, which for long time use can prevent possible nerve damage.
Often lightweight and sturdy, which can support greater weight.
Easier learning curve
Not very adjustable
Requires good upper body strength
Can become very tiring over longer distances.
While at first will be more comfortable compared to axillary crutches, can shift the pain and discomfort to a different muscle group.
An alternative to traditional style crutches are knee scooters, which can also be called knee walkers. They are a great option for those who desire increased mobility and to take the pressure off using their upper body to support their weight. While a knee scooter may be an appealing option, there are a few things to consider before selecting this mobility aid. Firstly, knee scooters are only an option for those who have foot or ankle injuries or aliments as the the user needs to have a strong knees, as the knee will take most of the weight. Secondly, some people comment that they do not feel confident navigating a knee scooter and lastly, knee scooters come at a much hirer price point than traditional crutches, but in saying this can be hired. We have knee scooters available for both sale and Hire.
Takes weight off upper body
Much faster and easier to move around
Requires strong and healthy knees
Only support foot and ankle ailments
Modern Design Crutches
Another alternative that is gaining popularity are crutches that have be engineered to overcome the common problems that crutches present. One such option is Mobility+Designed Crutches.
The sturdy and ergonomic design of the M+D Crutches allow you to live comfortably and conveniently for short-term or long-term use. They enable hands-free use with cradles that break-away and handgrips that rotate out of the way
They provide relief from chafing and pain. These crutches are versatile, simple height adjustments that allow you to customise the crutches specifically for you. A design that promotes correct posture and doesn’t force you to hunch over. They have a unique crutch foot that is designed for use on rugged or uneven terrain. They are also built from materials that are lightweight, yet strong for ease of use. SuperPharmacyPlus is the only retailer of Mobility+Designed Crutches in Australia and have had many happy customers who have highly recommended them.