Tips for using crutches:
Firstly, it's important to get the crutches set up correctly so when you are standing up straight, slightly bend your elbows - the handgrips need to be level with the bone in your wrist. Also, ensure that the forearm is supported and the crutch does not interfere with the elbow joint.
There are many different ways of using crutches depending on your upper body strength and the level of support needed and also follow the advice of your healthcare professional.
As a guideline, when walking, try to lean forward slightly and place both of your crutches about one foot in front of you whilst keeping your bad leg off the ground. Take your weight through your arms and push through your crutches and hop up to them, not past them, with your good leg. When your good leg is firmly on the ground, move your crutches ahead again. Try to keep looking forward rather than at your feet.
To sit down, make sure the chair is sturdy, right behind you and that it isn't going to slide away from you. Put your injured foot in front of you and hold both crutches in one hand. Use the other hand to feel behind you for the seat of your chair. Lower yourself gently into the chair. See our Crutch Accessories for items that help to put the crutches to one side. To stand up, inch yourself to the front of the chair. Hold both crutches in the hand on your uninjured side. Push yourself up gently and stand on your good leg.
Stairs can be tricky and you may want to talk to a professional prior to undertaking any. To walk up and down stairs with crutches, you need to have a fair amount of strength and flexibility. Wherever possible, use a handrail with your crutches in the other hand. When you are going up, lead with your good foot, bend your knee on your bad leg behind you. Push through your crutches and place your good leg up on to the first step. Then bring your crutches up on the same step. Going down, keep your bad leg straight out in front of you. Put your crutches down onto the step below and push through your crutches to lower your good leg down on to the step below. Take it easy and go one step at a time. You may want someone to help you, at least at first.
Always check the rubber ferrule at the bottom of your crutches to make sure it is intact with a good grip.