Tips for Selecting Crutches

When you are selecting crutches, seek advice from a healthcare provider such as your orthopedist, occupational therapist, or physical therapist. Have a qualified professional properly fit you to eliminate potential movement problems and discomfort.

Height is a key consideration for a proper fit, maximum mobility and comfort. When you stand, your elbows should be bent at a 20-degree angle when holding the hand grips. The hand grips should be at the same level as your hips. When you step forward, you should be able to fully extend your elbows.

Most aluminum models can be lengthened or shortened by pushing a button and moving them up and down as necessary. Some wooden types are adjustable, though, many are not so you have to be careful to purchase them in the right size.

Although wooden models are typically less expensive than aluminum ones, aluminum models are more lightweight and sometimes easier to use.

During the selection process, check to be sure the pad at the top is no more than one to two inches below your armpit when you are in standing position.

You shouldn't have to stoop down to walk, and so the pads won’t push on your underarms. The pads should be at least two inches thick so they provide adequate cushioning.

Consider getting an model with contoured handles rather than rounded ones, particularly if you suffer from arthritis. Rounded handles are harder to grip. Also be sure that the handles are solidly attached and do not slide around.

Most brands feature heavy-duty rubber grips at the bottom to prevent you from slipping and falling. Make sure the grips do not skid and that they grip the floor well. Inspect them regularly and replace them immediately if they show any signs of wear and tear.

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