When you think of crutches, you probably think of wooden sticks that open up on the top to a triangular shape. The flat part of the triangle is padded and rests under the user's armpit. Under the pad is a grip that the user holds on to. This type of crutch is called an under-arm crutch and is the most common type in the United States. If you live in Europe, this is not what comes to mind when you picture crutches. There are actually three different types of crutches available. The type that you use will depend largely on what type of injury you have and possibly where you live.
Under arm, or axillary, crutches are the most common type of crutch available in the United States. They are used primarily for temporary disabilities or injuries. In order to use them, you simply place the pads under your armpits and hold the grip which is below and parallel to the armpit pad. These have been used for centuries around the world, but few countries still advocate their use. In fact Europe began using forearm crutches almost exclusively a few decades ago.
Forearm crutches are used in the United States, but usually only by people who suffer from permanent disabilities. They are used by placing your arms in the cuffs and holding onto the available grips. People who use crutches on a day to day basis greatly prefer the forearm variety. They are much more comfortable to use because they do not put the same type of strain on you that traditional crutches do.
Forearm crutches also require much less energy to use them. Traditional crutches can be very heavy and the manner in which they are used forces the user to put a lot of weight on their arms. Forearm crutches, on the other hand, are light weight and provide for greater mobility. There are several different gaits that you can use with them. Each of which is much closer to your natural gait (that you would use when walking normally). Some of the gaits allow you to move rather rapidly. It is best to be able to use each of the gaits proficiently. That way you can switch between them when you become fatigued. You can also switch between them when you need to move at a faster or slower pace.
One other type of crutch exists. Platform crutches are the least common type available. These are used by people who have a poor handgrip. They are preferred by those with arthritis, cerebral palsy or other such conditions. With these crutches, you place your arms on the horizontal arm rests and then they are strapped into place.
We offer a wide selection of everyday crutches to use. They come in the standard wood type or the new aluminum style. Any questions about our crutches call us toll free at 1-888-928-1774.