Crutches are a common mobility aid used by individuals who have suffered injuries or undergone surgery. While they may seem straightforward, there are several surprising facts about using crutches that many people may not be aware of. Whether you're currently using crutches or just curious about them, read on to discover some interesting insights about this essential medical device.
1. Crutches Can Help Improve Balance
Using crutches requires a significant amount of balance and coordination. Regular use of crutches can actually help improve your balance over time. The act of walking with crutches engages your core muscles and forces you to maintain stability, leading to better balance even after you no longer need crutches.
2. They Can Be Customized for Comfort
Crutches are not one-size-fits-all. They can be adjusted and customized to fit your specific needs and preferences. The height of the crutches can be modified to ensure proper alignment and weight distribution, while the hand grips can be padded for added comfort.
3. Crutches Can Be Used for Upper Body Workouts
Walking with crutches requires significant upper body strength. As a result, using crutches can actually serve as a form of exercise for your arms, shoulders, and chest. Regular use of crutches can help tone and strengthen these muscle groups.
4. They Can Cause Underarm Discomfort
While crutches provide support, they can also cause discomfort, particularly in the underarm area. The pressure exerted on the underarms can lead to pain and irritation. To alleviate this, it's recommended to use crutch pads or cushions to provide additional padding and reduce the risk of underarm discomfort.
5. Crutches Can Be Used on Stairs
Contrary to popular belief, crutches can be used on stairs. However, it requires a specific technique known as the "three-point gait." This involves using both crutches and one leg to ascend or descend stairs safely. It's important to receive proper instruction from a healthcare professional before attempting to use crutches on stairs.
6. They Can Be Used in Water
If you're recovering from an injury and want to continue exercising in the water, you'll be pleased to know that crutches can be used in water. There are specially designed waterproof crutches available that allow you to maintain mobility and stability while in the pool or shower.
7. Crutches Can Be Used for Non-Weight Bearing Activities
Crutches are commonly associated with walking, but they can also be used for non-weight bearing activities. Whether you're cooking, doing household chores, or simply need extra support while standing, crutches can provide the stability you need to engage in various daily activities.
8. They Can Be a Fashion Statement
Crutches don't have to be boring and clinical. Many companies now offer crutches in a variety of colors and patterns, allowing you to express your personal style while using them. From vibrant floral designs to sleek metallic finishes, you can find crutches that match your personality.
9. Crutches Have Evolved Over Time
Crutches have come a long way in terms of design and functionality. Traditional underarm crutches have been replaced by more advanced options such as forearm crutches and hands-free crutches. These newer designs offer improved comfort, stability, and mobility for users.
Now that you're armed with these surprising facts about using crutches, you have a deeper understanding of this essential mobility aid. Whether you're currently using crutches or supporting someone who is, these insights can help make the experience more informed and comfortable.