Getting a good crutch is mostly common when we are faced with injuries affecting any area of the legs, be it ankle, knee or knee joints and other bones around the leg region. Mostly when the injury is somehow severe, making a non-weight bearing situation expedient. Most people are faced with challenges on choosing the best type of crutches that will perfectly suit the situation and this include skepticism between getting forearm crutches vs underarm crutches.
These types of crutches are very different from one another and they can suit a particular situation more than the other. This is what this article is all about. To educate and guide you in choosing correctly between the two types of crutches.
Best Forearm Crutches – Quick Review
Best Underarm Crutches – Quick Review
Why do you need crutches?
I will like to start up by explaining what a non-weight bearing is. This simply means, no weight whatsoever should be put on an affected leg. It might be a leg that has just been surgically operated or common injury to the ankle or knee.
There are so many unfortunate occurrences that could put any part of the legs in jeopardy. We have a lot of common bones and joints injuries which can be so severe that a crutch will be needed to aid our movement. Crutches are always needed when it is very important to keep the bodyweight away from the leg. It can be due to fracture to any part of the bones, ankle sprain, knee joints and so on.
Furthermore, after successful surgery on the affected part of the leg, it is important to keep the weight of the body away from the leg. This is when crutches are very useful as well. With it, the injured person can actually move around without fear of further complicating the already injured area. It should be noted that the two types of crutch need the upper body region to be very strong and healthy for you to be able to use it perfectly.
What are forearm crutches?
Basically, forearm crutch is those types that have a cuff around the wrist. They are mostly used when there is a need to transfer the bodyweight from injured legs to the upper body. As I said, it is important for the upper body to be strong enough to bear this. The wrist is put inside the cuff which prevents the crutch from falling off the arm and the handgrip is held firmly with the hand.
Mostly, forearm crutches are used for patients that will be on the crutch for a very long period of time. They are mostly made from strong materials like aluminum. They are mostly made in different sizes and can as well be adjustable to suit almost every height. Forearm crutch is very suitable for all non-weight bearing issues ranging from simple injuries like ankle sprain to severe ones that might even require surgical operation.
How to correctly use forearm crutches
It is very expedient to learn how to correctly make use of the forearm crutch. This starts from the proper assemblage and correct sizing of the crutch to fit your height perfectly.
Check the base of the crutch to see if there is any wear around the base of the crutch. This help prevents tripping on a concrete or smooth floor.
Adjust the entire length of the crutch to fit your height. This is mostly done by readjusting the crutch so that the handgrip of the crutch is on the same level as your waist. This step is very important and must never be neglected. Though this is not a rule of thumb and that is why most forearm crutches are adjustable. This is to give you access to set them to what you really want.
Now, put your wrist into the cuff and readjust the cuff to like one or two inches below the elbow. Make sure the cuff is facing away from your body. Grip the handle firmly and make sure it is perfectly and strongly in place to avoid fall.
While standing on the uninjured leg, place the two crutches few inches in front of the uninjured legs. Then transfer the weight of the body from the uninjured leg to the crutches through the arms. Swing and push your body forward with your weight on the crutches and land on the uninjured leg again, few inches in front of the crutches.
Repeat the procedure again and move around with confidence.
What are underarm crutches?
They are also a type of crutch used for non-weight bearing. They help you move around, taking the weight of the body away from the injured leg or foot unto the crutch. Underarm crutches are also called axillary crutches and they are very common and are mostly recommended especially when the situation of the injury won’t take too much of time before healing. This means it is mostly used for short time purpose, for people that won’t be making use of the crutch for a long period of time.
Also, it is recommended for patients with less strength in their arms. Unlike forearm crutches, underarm does not require much strength in the arm.
How to correctly use underarm crutches
Though they are the common types of crutches, nevertheless, it is very important to know how to correctly use them for great efficiency. Underarm crutches are also used for non-weight bearing and it is very easy to use.
Check the entire bodies of the crutch to make sure all are in good condition. Then adjust the entire length of the crutch to like 1 or 2 inches below the armpit. This should be the length while standing and it helps you rest the armpit on the uppermost part of the crutches.
Then go ahead to adjusting the handgrip of the crutches. Note that, your arm must not be in a straight position. So adjust the handgrip such that there is an angle bend in the elbow.
With the handgrip firmly held unto, stand on the uninjured leg, keep the injured leg above the ground and place the crutches few inches before the uninjured leg. Transfer the weight of the body from the uninjured leg to the crutches and swing your body. Place the uninjured leg few inches in front of the crutches and repeat the procedures for perfect movement.
Forearm crutches vs Underarm crutches – which should I choose?
Length of Usage
This is a very important factor to be considered when you want to settle down for a particular crutch to help your movement. The duration in which you will be making use of it is very important. Forearm crutches are very suitable for longer use. For folks that might need it for more than a year, they should definitely consider forearm crutches while underarm crutches are used just for a little period of time, say 3 months to 12 months.
Strength of the user
Both crutches need you to be strong in the upper part of your body. Nevertheless, forearm crutches require more energy than underarm crutches. This is why forearm crutches are not very great for the elderly ones. They mostly fit agile and strong people like youths. So before you decide on which to get, ask yourself if you have the strength to wield forearm crutches perfectly. If not, it is advisable to actually go for underarm crutches, though needs upper body’s strength as well but not as enormous as what a forearm crutch will require.
The comfort of the user
At the end of the day, your comfort is very paramount and must never be jeopardized. Some people will actually feel more comfortable in forearm crutches while some in the underarm crutches. This is a preference and you must study your body nature well to pick between the two types. Both crutches are created to achieve the same purpose, so it is never a rule of thumb to which is best for you. Carefully go through both and see what you will really be comfortable in.
What are the best forearm crutches for non-weight bearing?
We have taken our time to give you 3 of the best forearm crutches that can be used for non-weight bearing. Either after post-operation or for a severe injury affecting the leg that might require you take the weight off the injured leg. These 3 products are very good, strong, durable and will perfectly suit your taste of ideal forearm crutches.
A lovely forearm crutch that puts you in control with its ergonomic designs. Ergobaum crutches are one of the best forearm crutches you can ever get in the market today. It has successfully gained traction among its peers and widely praised by former users. No matter the level of injury sustained, no matter the severity, this crutch is always there to give you the mobility you desire without compromising your comfort.
It is made with a flashlight that gives you easy accessibility inside the dark area. You can walk conveniently in the dark without having to struggle with holding any torchlight or lamp.
The design is so on point and ergonomic. From adjustable handgrip, adjustable cuffs to the whole length being able to be adjusted to your size make it also very lovely and fit almost all users.
The base of the forearm crutches is made with a specially designed spring technology which acts as a shock absorber and sturdy base tip that prevents the crutches from tripping in smooth or concrete floors.
- It can conveniently support up to 360 lbs in weight.
- It is adjustable to accommodate users between the height of 5’0” – 6’6”
- Crutches made in pairs.
- The crutches are not too heavy for your convenience. Each weight 2.8 lbs.
- Led light included allowing you to see clearly in the dark.
- Available in different colors, you can choose based on your preference.
- Not good for you if you have a weak upper body region.
- Some users complained it wasn’t strong enough.
What makes a good crutch is its lightness and strength. A good forearm crutch must be able to combine this quality. It must not be heavy to facilitate easy carrying and must be very strong to support the weight of the user perfectly. This is what ErgoTech Lightweight Forearm Crutches combined together perfectly and make it stand out among its pairs.
It is very light in weight with each of the crutch weighing 1.12 lbs and will conveniently support a weight of 286 lbs. This is very impressive and one great quality you can rarely find in other forearm crutches.
Its ergonomic design is top notched. You can safely adjust its cuffs into 4 positions to customize it into the perfect crutch you desire. Not only that, the whole length of the crutches is adjustable. You don’t have to worry about your size, you can definitely customize to your perfect size.
Furthermore, traveling is easier with this lovely crutch. You can easily fold it into a compact size to fit perfectly into your luggage. It is also very easy to assemble when you want to make use of it.
It is one of the best forearm crutches and we are very excited to introduce this lovely forearm crutch to you. Past experience users of the product gave credence to its ability and we do believe it will be a great buy for you as well.
- Very light in weight and yet very strong.
- Strong and adjustable hand grip.
- Easily folded for traveling.
- It is adjustable to fit every height.
- The tip is made with rubber to prevent tripping causing fall.
- Very difficult to adjust.
Chech more about the best forearm crutches
One of the best adult crutches that have the ability and capacity of supporting a weight of 250lbs and it is specially made for tall adults between 5’ to 6’2”. You can also get the size specially made for the youth which supports the same amount of weight and suitable for the height of 4’2” to 5’2”.
Medline Aluminum crutches as the made implies is made with aluminum, making it be very strong and durable. The handle and cuff are made with internal blushing and external lock nuts to provide totally silent usage.
- Easily adjustable to fit your size.
- The cuffs are perfectly made and do not fall off the arm.
- Very strong durable.
- Two sizes available: youth and adult size.
- Rubber tip to absorb shock and prevent tripping.
- It is very affordable.
- The rubber tip wears off easily. You might want to get a replacement tip along with your order.
See also: Best Crutches for Broken Ankle
What are the best Underarm crutches for non-weight bearing?
Just like forearm crutches, we will be reviewing the best 3 underarm crutches you should think about anytime you want to purchase one.
This is a sophisticated axillary crutch made and finely designed to move you around, taking the weight of your body off the affected or injured leg. Every buck spent on this crutch will definitely be worthwhile as you get to enjoy numerous features that make your mobility stressless and fun.
Mobilegs crutch is made for adult and its well-built to suit 98% of adults. This is because you can easily adjust its height to fit your height of 4’9” – 6’4” perfectly and will support weight up to 300 lbs.
The structural design is very lovely and made in a way to give you comfort. You do not need to struggle with any part of the crutches. The leg is offset for hip clearance, the handgrips contour to the hand and helps you maintain a natural wrist angle and evenly distributed load across the palm. So if you are looking for fit, comfort and high level of performance, Mobilegs Ultra Crutches is your best bet.
Not only is this crutch designed for a perfect fit, but it is also built with high-quality material that is very strong to hold you in position and support you well. The body is made with metals, so you can rest assured of high strength. The feet are specially designed to maintain firm contact with the floor or ground, so you can forget about tripping over while using this crutch.
- Strong crutches that fit almost all adult.
- Rocker feet that firmly contacts the ground to prevent tripping.
- Great for non-weight bearing conditions.
- Easily adjustable and ergonomic design.
- Leg offset for hip clearance.
- Very easy on the armpit
- Many users complained of it being noisy.
- The plastic has some chemical smell that doesn’t go away easily after purchase.
This is not just your traditional crutch. This is specially designed to give you the best movement and offer some features your normal traditional crutches won’t give. It is designed just to make you feel better with your mobility and also assist your movement better.
Out of its amazing features is the special one called spring assisted technology. This is built to serve as a shock absorber; it absorbs all shock arising when you place the tips on the ground while the spring also pulls pack to aid movement. Just underneath the spring is the articulating tip that gives the right balance needed to prevent falling. You never have to worry about the surface of the ground, be it uneven or smooth surface.
The handgrip is very strong, this is not something you will hold and break. It is safely fixed and can be easily readjusted to your favorite position. The design is done to keep the hand and wrist in their proper places to eliminate wrist pain.
Once you adjust to your height, you do not need to change the adjustment before storage. It is designed with a unique folding which allows users to fold and store easily without tampering with the set size.
We are certain about this crutch and we strongly recommend it. Your comfort is guaranteed, it is very strong and will support up to 500 lbs. It is durable and will serve you for as long as you wanted it.
- The spring-assisted technology clearly separates it from other crutches.
- Ergonomic handgrip.
- Very strong and supports up to 500 lbs.
- It is foldable for easy storage and can be readjusted to your custom size.
- Makes you feel more comfortable than regular crutches.
- It’s a little bit heavy and you need more strength to carry it.
This is one of the cheapest but reliable crutches. This crutch will make you know you don’t have to have too much before you what you need from a crutch. It is great for every injury on any part of the leg be it ankle or knee that may warrant non-weight bearing.
It is specially made for an adult between the heights of 4’11” – 6’4”, so you can adjust to your size for convenience and better usage. Also, with this crutch, traveling is made easy. You only need to fold and it will fit perfectly into airplane overhead compartment.
A good crutch should be strong and light in weight. Carex crutch is made with aluminum which makes it very strong and light in weight. Stronger than your normal traditional crutches and lighter than wood crutches. It supports up to 250 lbs of weight.
Also, the crutch does not jeopardize your comfort. It is designed to keep your arm and wrist in their position, preventing fatigue and stress on the arm and wrist. Also, the handgrip is adjustable for custom fit and so is the overall size of the crutches.
- Easy to travel with especially in an airplane.
- The height is fully adjustable to fit almost all heights.
- Adjustable handgrip.
- Light in weight and strong
- For short and tall people.
- It is quite unstable
- Extra investment in the pad might be needed to keep your armpits from injury.
Read more on Best Crutch Alternatives
Picking either forearm vs underarm crutches doesn’t have to be stressful when you know their work and situations where each is most helpful. We are very sure you must have gotten that from this page and we can assure you of those reviewed crutches. They are tested and their pros definitely outweigh the cons. We believe they will definitely be a great buy for you.