How to Make Crutches More Comfortable?
So you got hurt, or a surgery. And, the doctor suggested you start using crutches. Even though it might take a bit of time to wrap the idea around your head, the sooner you accept and get on with it, the better, trust me.
It’s true that crutches can be quite painful at times, but at the same time, most crutches come with some features of their own to make them a bit comfortable.
You can easily take some additional measures so that it becomes a lot easier on you and your body to use your crutches on a regular basis. Let’s talk about the measures to make crutches more comfortable.
How to Make Crutches More Comfortable
Some useful ways to customize your crutches to make them more comfortable are:
Use Crutch Grips
Crutch grips can make your life a lot easier. They can be made of rubber or gel-pad and provide the much-needed cushion to reduce the impact on your hands and wrists. There are various sizes and types to choose from. Make sure to get the ones that fit your particular crutch type while buying crutch grips for yourself.
If you do not want to spend money on crutch grips, covering the handle with layers of tapes can also provide somewhat of a grip for your hands.
Get Some Crutch Tips
Most of the crutches that are available in the market are not designed to function in wet surfaces, which can be quite a setback. Investing in rain tips can thus make maneuvering in the kitchen, restroom, and wet sidewalks a lot easier and safer.
It is also wise to go for the shock-absorptive variations for better comfort and mobility. And if you are going to be using crutches during the winter and it snows where you live, get some snow tips for yourself.
Add Extra Padding
The built-in padding that most of the crutches come with is usually thin, and the hardness underneath can often be felt. Some extra padding on the saddle can provide some much needed cushioning for your armpits.
You can cushion this area by using some pads that are meant for your crutch type and size. Be sure to get good quality paddings for better comfort. Many people like to add padding using just towels and some duct tapes. As long as it is comfortable and functioning, you can make it by yourself.
Make Proper Adjustments
Properly adjusting the crutches for your height is not only important for better performance, but also for better comfort. If the crutch pads are set too high, they can dig heavily into the armpits.
On the other hand, if they are set too low, it can give horrible posture, making your back and spine suffer in the long term. The optimal height of conversion crutches should be about two inches lower than your armpits.
Maintain Proper Posture
Always make sure to hold a good posture shown by your physician. Good posture is important not only for the time being but also to save you from more suffering in the future. Besides, your torso, neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees, all need to have proper posture to avoid complications such as strains or nerve damages.
While using conventional crutches, your elbows and knees should be slightly bent, your arms should be straight from the elbow to the wrist, and your hands should bear most of the weight. Also, you should never rest your armpits on your crutches if you want to avoid compressing your nerves.
Choose the Right Fabric
Pay attention to the fabric of both the padded areas of the crutch and your clothes. Make sure the shirt sleeves are long enough to cover the parts that usually rub against the crutch, except your hands, of course.
Since using crutches involve a lot of movement and rubbing against your body, it’s better to choose a fabric that does not cause much friction against your skin.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
While this one might be obvious for some, it’s still needed to be reminded once in a while. Wear shoes that are comfortable and sensible, so as not to injure yourself further.
The good leg needs as much support as it can get, and poor shoe choice can make things way harder for your leg. Shoes that are supportive and comfortable will make things easier for both you and your leg.
Some Additional Tips
Here are some fun tips that are not related to your physical comfort, per se, but these can still help you have an easier time with the crutches:
Attach a Crutch Bag
Reaching into your purse, backpack, or even your pant pockets can become quite bothersome while you are on the go on a crutch or a pair of crutches. Having a crutch bag, preferably waterproof, attached to your crutch can easily take this worry away.
Stash your much-needed things such as your keys and cellphone in your crutch bag so you can easily reach them when needed.
Install a Cup holder
We all need a lot of water to heal and to keep our bodies functioning properly on a daily basis. And what better opportunity to have a cupholder on the go all the time for yourself?
Get Colored Crutches
Getting crutches that are brightly colored as opposed to just boring grey can lift up your mood to a great extent. People that use crutches with interesting, fun designs and patterns have attested that they make them feel a lot more confident while moving out and about with their crutches.
Besides, if you are going to have to use them, it’s a great idea to make them into your very own accessory instead of just some things that you are stuck with.
Pay Attention to Your Outfit
Always wear clothes that are easy to maneuver in with crutches. Make sure your outfit does not have any long parts that may get under your crutch tips. Avoid clothes that are ill-fitting at all costs while using crutches. You don’t want to keep having to stop again and again to pull up your pants or fix your shirt sleeves.
On the same note, make sure your hair is properly secured in place, and your shoe strings are tied tightly.
Yes, the thought of having to depend on something else other than your own legs to bear your weight is quite scary. But no matter you are a short-term or long-term user of crutches, making them more comfortable will help you a lot to avoid a lot of unnecessary pain and discomfort.
In addition to following the above-mentioned steps, make sure to take frequent breaks and get enough rest whenever possible.