Remember, when using either a cane or crutches, make you home as user-friendly as possible to prevent any slips or falls…
- Remove throw rugs, electrical cords, food spills, and anything else that may cause you to fall.
- Arrange furniture so that you have a clear pathway between rooms.
- Keep stairs clear of packages, boxes, or clutter.
- Walk only in well-lit rooms and install a nightlight along the route between your bedroom and the bathroom.
- In the bathroom, use nonslip bath mats, grab bars, a raised toilet seat, and a shower tub seat.
- Simplify your household to keep the items you need within easy reach and everything else out of the way.
- Carry things hands-free by using a backpack, fanny pack, or an apron with pockets.
Some basic rules of use are…
- Support your weight on your hands, not the underarm supports, and your elbows should be slightly bent
- Lean forward slightly and put your crutches about one foot in front of you
- Your injured leg should follow the crutch stride
- Begin your step as if you were going to use the injured foot or leg but, instead, shift your weight to the crutches
- Bring your body forward slowly between the crutches
- Finish the step normally with your good leg
- When your good leg is on the ground, move your crutches ahead in preparation for your next step. Always look forward, not down
- With STAIRS or inclines, hold your injured leg behind when going UP stairs, and hold it forwards when going DOWN stairs
CANE or SINGLE CRUTCH:
- Hold the cane or crutch on the OPPOSITE SIDE that needs support, and your injured leg should follow the cane/crutch
- To walk, set your cane about one small stride ahead of you
- Step off on your injured leg and finish the step with your good leg
- With STAIRS or inclines: when going UP stairs, step up with your good leg first, holding the injured leg behind, and when coming DOWN put your cane and your injured leg first, then your good leg
- Grasp the handrail with your free hand