Humans have used different types of crutches for thousands of years. This immaculate innovation was made possible by our forefathers, who sought ways to manage specific health conditions.
However, the crutches that existed back then are now reformed and modified to give more comfort to users today. What is a crutch?
A crutch is movement assistance used by an injured person to help shift the weight from the legs to the upper body for relief.
Crutches are used by people who find it challenging to use their legs to support their weight. This may be a result of short-term or long-term injuries. Those with injuries don’t only use crutches; they are also used by older people and those with varying ailments.
In ancient times, only one particular type of crutch was in existence, but technology has helped in modernizing these crutches to various types.
These different types are invented to suit the needs of individuals with one challenge or the other and to reduce stress.
Read along to find out the various designs of crutches and their designs.
6 Different types of crutches
The hands-free crutch also referred to as ‘iWALK2.0’, acts like a high-technology braced leg.
This crutch is designed with padded support where the knee of the injured leg is placed, and the injured leg is safely raised behind. With this pair of crutches, the users can go about their daily activities with minimal stress.
The hands-free crutch allows the user to use their hands in doing other chores. With this type of crutch, you can hit the gym, go shopping, look after the kids, and do a lot more.
This crutch is pain and stress-free as it works by reducing muscle stress. It can be used to move on various platforms such as uneven terrain, stairs, slopes, etc.
Mobilegs crutches are designed to fit individuals with different body sizes, shapes, and heights. These crutches are developed with convenient hand grips that help to normal positioning of the wrist and also to distribute the body weight uniformly on the palm.
The Underarm Crutch (Axilla/Axillary Crutch)
The underarm crutch also referred to as the axilla crutch, is the most commonly used. The axilla Crutch is the type medical practitioners mostly recommend to patients who sustained a lower leg injury.
These crutches can be used for all types of leg injuries without exerting much pressure on the injured leg, thereby giving the injury time to heal.
However, using this type of crutches can restrict the whole use of the arms. This means users would require external help in carrying out daily duties.
In addition, they aren’t user-friendly as they cause the wrists and underarms to be exhausting while being used.
The bariatric crutches are steel-made and are designed with strength and long-lasting ability in mind.
They are made for patients with heavy build-ups or those on the bigger side. In addition, these crutches can support those with heavy shapes.
The armpit pads and handgrips of the bariatric crutches are designed with extra thick latex paddings that give extra comfort and reduce discomfort on the armpit.
They are used the same way the underarm crutches are used, but they provide better steadiness for bigger weights.
The millennial crutches are designed with handles that can be modified to normalize the hand and wrist position.
Additionally, the adjustable handle is provided to reduce the risk of the development of carpal tunnel by its users.
These crutches are for just short-term use of not more than four weeks and are appropriate for both adults and children.
In addition, some models of the millennial crutches are designed with shock-absorbing arms to relieve pains and potential damage to the arm’s nerve.
Forearm Crutch (Lofstrand Crutches)
These types of crutches function like underarm crutches. The significant difference between this crutch and the underarm is that the forearm crutch has an open clip that holds the arms firm while in use. Therefore, they can also be referred to as the elbow crutch.
Forearm crutches are used in severe leg injury cases and might be long-term. This crutch uses more strength from the upper body than the strength of the upper arm, but they allow you more control of your movement.
However, using the forearm crutch can be stressful and painful, especially to the hands, and can be tiring after ten minutes.
Different types of crutches come with varying parts that perform various functions. Below are some of the crutch parts and the roles they perform.
Components of crutches and their functions
The crutch tip is usually made of rubber, and it helps the user maintain balance and stop the crutch from slipping off from under the user. Various crutch tips can fit any crutches regardless of the type and shape.
Crutch Handle Grips
This part is designed with a little bit of contour for easier holding, so the user doesn’t lose grip of the crutch. However, most users would prefer a soft grip for their crutches, which gives them a more manageable and firm grasp.
Most crutches come with covers for the handles and the armpit rest. These crutches’ covers are not only to add some cushioning to the crutches but also to protect the crutches’ handles and the pads themselves.
The crutch pad is one of the essential parts of the walking aid, as they are the component that gives the armpit comfort. The crutch’s pad is also important for elderly users as they may sometimes lack the strength to grip the crutches firmly without the pads.
Modernized crutches come with beautiful designs that might attract an injured person. However, the users can’t choose the crutches they might be attracted to. They, therefore, need the physician to prescribe the appropriate type. Nonetheless, the type of crutch to be used depends on the extent of the injury sustained.