How do you adjust forearm crutches

Crutches: selection and use of walking aids

Crutches help us to walk stably, even if our movements are temporarily or permanently restricted by operations, illnesses or accidents. They are usually used when one leg is still working and the other is injured or not working for other reasons. Here you can find out where you can buy modern crutches, what good crutches cost and how you can walk with them.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Buying modern crutches: where can they be found?

Crutches are still considered a flaw. Anyone who has to use crutches immediately associates them with ancient, mouse-gray walking aids.

But nowadays crutches are black or colored. In addition, they are made of light materials, which allow a stable yet practical application. So even things as simple as crutches have evolved over time.

There is now a wide range of different colors and models to buy both on the Internet and in medical supply stores - whether classic or modern.

Shops for crutches: medical supply store or internet?

Although many online mail order companies have crutches, it is still advisable not to buy them on the Internet, but rather to use this medium as a source of information. After all, they are crucial for a quick recovery or a smoother everyday life.

Therefore, when buying crutches, you should make sure that you can test them yourself. It is therefore advisable to buy from a medical supply store. These offer comprehensive service and advice.

What does a crutch cost?

Depending on the model, crutches cost between 20 and 50 euros. But they can also cost three-digit numbers if they are made individually.

Of course, the price always refers to the pair and not to a single crutch. So crutches are only ever available in a double pack - even if you only need one.

Are crutches covered by health insurance?

You can also get crutches on prescription. In this case, you only have to make the statutory additional payment of ten percent (at least five euros, maximum ten euros). If your financial burdens are too high or you are chronically ill, you can apply for (partially) exemption from co-payments at the health insurance company.

When buying expensive or specially made crutches - especially if you are dependent on walking aids for a long time or for a long time - the following procedure has proven to be sensible:

  1. Contact the health insurance company. They will suggest medical supply stores in your area with which they will cooperate.
  2. Select your suitable crutches in the medical supply store. Let us advise you on the various models and, if necessary, do research on the Internet beforehand. Let us then give you a cost estimate.
  3. Get a prescription from your doctor. This should include the diagnosis and, if necessary, the need for care and the exact type of crutches.
  4. Now submit the application for reimbursement to the health insurance company with the documents.
  5. Once the application is approved, you are ready to purchase your crutches.

As a rule, this approval process is relatively quick. In the meantime, you should see to it that you get borrowed crutches as a temporary solution.

Borrowing crutches without a prescription?

If you do not receive a prescription or only need crutches for a short time, you can also borrow the crutches and thus save money.

Some hospitals have these ready for emergencies. But it is also advisable to ask friends, relatives or neighbors whether they have unused assistants in the basement that they can lend you.

In addition, there are always donations that are passed on to the needy by charities or institutions such as the Red Cross.

Checklist for the right crutches

Wherever you get your crutches from - you should pay attention to the following tips ...

  • Is the length the crutches so that you can walk upright in a relaxed manner and at the same time keep your balance?
  • Is the attitude so that you can walk well in the shoes you usually wear?
  • Are the Handles comfortable and ergonomically shaped - even for a longer period of time?
  • Are you feeling for sure with the model or should you choose a different type of crutches?
  • Are the Rubber buffers wide and stable enough for your needs?
  • Are the crutches good too transport (for example in the car or on public transport)?
  • Do the crutches have the necessary ease but also at the same time stability?

Walking with crutches: that's how it works

The great thing about crutches is that they are relatively easy to get used to walking with. After all, they support the body's natural movement. Since the muscles are trained and kept moving through assisted walking, walking with crutches also counteracts muscle wasting. This can speed up the healing and rehabilitation phase.

For the right technique when running or walking, it is first important not to cramp in order to avoid bad posture or tension. Elbows or armpits should be securely stabilized, but still lie relaxed in the supports.

Walk upright, not leaning forward. This relieves your back and keeps your core stable. In addition, avoid falling and tripping hazards in your home and ask your relatives to move them out of the way.

Anyone walking with a crutch should always have two stable points on the ground; if you move with two crutches, it is best to have three stable connections to the earth. Two crutches are inevitable, especially if the legs are allowed to be loaded with less than the weight of your own body.

How do I adjust my crutches correctly?

When it comes to correctly adjusting crutches, your height is the most important factor: the handles should be at the level of your thighs. In addition, the supports should not exert an uncomfortably large amount of pressure.

Once the correct height has been found, it is fixed with the help of screws or brackets. Make sure that these click into place correctly. You should also check the rubber buffers or protectors on the feet of the crutches for wear and dirt. You can only make the crutches non-slip if they are in perfect condition.

Anyone who is dependent on crutches for the first time should have them adjusted by their doctor or therapist, as well as have them assess the use and gait and, if necessary, correct them.

Different Types: Are American Crutches Good Crutches?

Apart from the classic walking stick, on which one only leans on with the hand, two different types of crutches can be distinguished:

  • Forearm crutches
    They are now the most common and are usually made of light metal with sturdy plastic upper parts for the handles and armrests, which are arranged at a 45-degree angle to enable ergonomic walking. This distributes the load evenly on the shoulder, arm and hand.
  • Armpit crutches
    Sometimes called American crutches, they are longer. In the past, they were mostly made of wood and had a cushion on top that was pushed under the armpits. Today they are also made of more stable materials such as steel.

Which crutch you use depends on your handicap, but also on your personal preference. American crutches are more gentle on arms and wrists, especially if they are not very strong. They also support the body better with knee problems. Forearm crutches, however, are easier to handle for many.

Both types are available in different sizes or lengths and for different load weights.

Crutches accessories

Incidentally, if the handles or rubber buffers on your crutches are worn out, you don't have to buy a completely new pair. There are inexpensive accessories to buy for both forearm and American crutches.

You do not necessarily have to get this from the medical supply store. Since the spare parts do not have to be adjusted, they are also available cheaply on the Internet. Protectors for the crutches' feet are available for two or three euros, while pads or handles usually cost less than 20 euros.

However, if you do not buy this accessory in a medical supply store, you have to assemble it yourself. With the rubber feet this is usually problem-free, the upholstery and handles require a little more skill.

When do you need crutches?

In contrast to an ordinary walking stick, crutches provide additional stability, as they provide additional support not only through the wrist, but also through the arm. They are always used when walking is still possible in principle, but only with additional stability.

The reasons for this can be, for example, the following:

  • Age
  • Operations
  • Diseases
  • Accidents

But when are crutches sufficient? When should patients prefer to use a rollator or wheelchair? How long are crutches used?

They are easier to handle and stow away with crutches than other mobility aids. Therefore, they are always used when a leg is still functional. Crutches can be used not only in a short healing phase but also in the long term or permanently. For example, with a slight handicap due to MS (multiple sclerosis) or old age.

So joints and muscles in the legs are relieved by crutches. Short distances, climbing stairs and coping with everyday life independently are possible without outside help. You should only use other aids if walking on crutches is painful.

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