How to Go Up and Down the Stairs with Crutches?

To be frank, the best way to go about stairs while using crutches would be to avoid them whenever possible. Use the elevator, escalator, or if you don’t mind a short piggyback ride from a friend, go for that by all means.

But in practicality, it is not always possible to avoid them altogether. Often times, you may find yourself in a place where you have no way other than to climb those annoying stairs with your crutches.

And that’s what we are gonna help you with. In this post, we will tell you how to go up and down the stairs with crutches.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.


Learning to climb up and down stairs on your crutches will take a fair bit of practice in the presence of a friend. With good techniques and some patience, you can master the art of going up and down the stairs using crutches.


It is All about Balance

The main factor while climbing stairs on your crutches is to maintain your balance properly. While practicing in real situations, you need to be very mindful of which leg you are putting forward.

To simply lay it out, your good leg goes up first while going up, and move your bad leg first while going down. There is an interesting set of mnemonics to help you remember it on the go:

  • While Going Up, Step Onto The ‘GAS’ Pedal

G for Good leg. The good leg goes first.

A for Affected leg. It follows second.

S for Stick. Your sticks or crutches go last.

  • While Going Down, It’s The Other Way Around. Just ‘SAG’

Sticks first.

Affected leg second.

Good leg last.

Besides using crutches to climb up and down the stairs, you can also just hold onto the handrail with one hand while holding both crutches on the other hand, to climb the stairs. Although, you need to be very careful of your steps and go as slow as needed.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

While it is, in fact, possible to climb stairs on your crutches, it has some risks that you should keep in mind. Here are some of the things you need to be careful about to avoid disastrous consequences:

Avoid Contact with Other People 

A little bump from a stranger can leave you tumbling down those steps in a matter of seconds, so stay aware.

Stay Away from Crowded Stairs

It is best to stay away from a staircase that is already swarming with people. The fewer the number of people, the less are your chances of getting shoved or bumped into.

Look out for Any Litter or Other Objects

This applies to plain surfaces too. Always keep an eye out for any object in your way that you may need to step aside for.

Be Careful of Cracks or Holes 

Old staircases often have worn out edges or holes on them. Wooden stairs often have cracks. Be cautious if you need to climb any of these.

Be Extra Cautious When Climbing Wet or Slippery Stairs

The prospect of wet staircases is already scary enough. Still, you can never be too careful while climbing up or down slippery stairs.

Safety Comes First 

If you have yet to learn the correct way to move up and down the stairs, don’t be afraid just to shuffle your way up or down if need be. Remember, your safety is more important than time.

Once you have had enough practice and are confident about your stair-climbing techniques, you can start using these steps and tips outside of your house.

  • Updated March 28, 2020
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