Although walking with crutches may not come naturally, most people get better over time. The ultimate goal is to protect the injured leg from undue stress and strain during recovery.
From sitting to standing, here’s a overall breakdown of how to use a standard pair of underarm or axillary crutches. This list is not a replacement for professional medical advice. If you need instruction on how to use crutches, always contact your healthcare provider.
1. Use both crutches to leverage yourself from a seated to a standing position.
When seated, place both crutches on your weaker side and push off with the stronger side. The crutches should provide enough stability on the injured side to prevent weight bearing. Once you are standing, carefully transfer one crutch to your stronger side.
2. Place the crutches firmly against the sides of your body.
The majority of your weight should rest on the handgrips and your stronger leg. The top of the crutch should fit snugly under your arm, but it should not physically touch your armpit.
3. Plant both crutches a short distance ahead of your body.
Prepare your stronger leg to swing through and land slightly ahead of the crutches. Shift your weight to the crutches and swing forward until your strong leg lands safely. If possible, keep your weaker leg above the ground and slightly bent.
4. Prepare for the next step.
Once your stronger foot is securely on the ground, repeat the process until you reach your destination. All steps should be taken slowly and deliberately.