Although crutches are helpful, they can cause several problems. It is very common for users to experience pain in the underarms, palm, and wrist. Underarm skin is often chaffed because of prolonged use. But crutch accessories like pads for crutches and grip pads can help to ease the pain. They act like cushions for crutches and make crutches bearable.
But it is important that you buy good quality crutch pads. Low-quality underarm pads are often made from hard rubber. The rubber used is often thin with a tendency to peel. These are often difficult to install and remove. But good quality latex-free crutch pads are made from foam and cotton-based fabrics. Their shape contours according to the body and cause zero to low pressure. These are often easy to install as well. They should be easy to wash but should retain the padding even after a frequent wash. The complete weight of the body falls on the underarms, hence the crutch pads should be of good quality.
And if you’ve chosen to rent crutches, make sure that they’re hypoallergenic to keep germs and bacteria that are left behind by previous owners. Constant use can make these crutch pads dirty and worn. Some pads come with anti-mildew and anti-bacterial agents.
Installing a crutch pad is easy; all that you have to do is to open the closure and then place it on one end of the cap. The other end can be similarly pulled. You can even choose from different styles that are fun and creative. They even come in sets with crutch bags and grip pads. These crutch bags can be used to carry your wallet, keys, phone and other essentials. When tied to the hand grip, the bag can be prevented from bumping on the leg when walking. Most pads for crutches are machine washable. You just have to make sure that they’re washed with similar colors, on the cold-water cycle.
Common problems such as underarm soreness is often caused because of improper use of crutches. It is important to choose crutches that are the right size; there should be a gap of at least 1 inch between the underarms and crutch.
The pad at the top of each crutch should not touch your underarms as you move around. Each pad should be set 1 inch below the armpits as you stand with your shoulders at ease. The pads are there only to stabilize the crutch between your inner arm and the side of your upper torso, not to carry your weight. When you aren’t moving, resist the temptation to slump down onto the crutch pads. Your armpits are not designed to support your body’s weight. Keeping your weight off the crutch pad lessens arm pain by removing harmful pressure on the brachial plexus nerves that run along your armpit and down the inside of your arm.
The hand grip of the crutch should be even with your hip so that when you grip it, your elbow is slightly bent. As you lift your weight up and swing forward with each step, use your triceps to initialize the motion while making a conscious effort to engage your chest, shoulders, and forearms to help with the job of stabilizing your weight. Spreading the work around by activating your entire upper body will reduce soreness in your triceps and forearms.
Having to get around on crutches is like suddenly deciding to go to the gym every morning to exercise your arms only with no rest days in between workouts. Overworking any muscle can cause atrophy and actually become weaker. Reduce how much running around you do every day, especially at first. Taking frequent breaks will help your sore arms recover between hobbling from one place to another. You can also reduce the pain from exertion in your arms by shortening your crutch stride. Smaller steps put less pressure on your muscles while reducing the chances of a falling accident.