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Setting up Crutches

Setting up Crutches

Who needs crutches?

Individuals who have a leg injury of some sort will be recommended to use crutches by their health care provider as they recover. Most commonly you will see people with ankle injuries using crutches so they don’t place too much weight on their ankle as they get around while the injury is beginning to heal. Your health care provider will make sure that you have good enough balance, strength and endurance to be able to use crutches regularly throughout your healing process.

Benefits of crutches

Crutches are extremely beneficial when healing from a lower body injury when you are unable to put weight on one of your lower limbs. By using crutches, you distribute the weight from your lower limbs to your upper body to allow your lower body injury to heal without the pressure of your body’s weight. You can use crutches as a pair or as a single unit to aid your recovery.

How to set up crutches

Have you ever needed to use crutches? Were you ever told how to set them up properly to match your body mechanics? It is important to set them up correctly to match your height to avoid discomfort or reinjury while using crutches.

  1. First adjust the crutches to match the individual’s height.
  2. Crutches need to be a thumb to index finger span away from the foot.
  3. Make sure you can fit two fingers between the top of the crutch and the armpit
  4. Make sure the hand rest is in line with the wrist
  5. Now you’re good to go!

The set up of your crutches is crucial for avoiding further injury to your body. If your crutches are to high, they could cause discomfort in the way you step and with the pressure under your armpits. If they are too low, it can affect your posture and lead to back pain. Our physiotherapists can help you learn how to walk comfortably with your new crutches.

PhysioMax Wellness is a Physiotherapy clinic located in Burlington, Ontario. PhysioMax Wellness offers; physiotherapychiropractic caremassage therapy and more. We use manual therapies as well as various modalities to improve the rate of healing from injuries. Our goal is to work with you and for you to create personalized plans to recover from injuries and help your reach your health goals for conditions you may have.

Julia de Reijke RKin, CSEP-CPT, BASc Kinesiology (Hons), DipFTHP

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