How to Use Crutches

Before you begin using crutches, your doctor, nurse, physical therapist, or podiatrist will show you how to adjust the crutches so they are at the right height for you. If a patient has never used a crutch, they should not do so without instructions and without trying them out in the podiatrist’s office. Usually you will receive crutches if you suffer from an injury such as a fracture, break or tear. They are also commonly used after a foot, ankle or leg surgery. When used properly, crutches can be very beneficial. If they are used incorrectly, they can cause you more harm than good. Here are some simple instructions and tips to help you get out and about with your crutches.

To begin walking with crutches, slowly shift your weight to your uninjured leg. Move the crutches in front of you to a point at which you can maintain stability.  During the swing movement, shift your weight from your uninjured leg to your arms, swinging your body through the crutches as the crutches take up the weight. Plant your uninjured leg at a point ahead, be sure you feel stable and secure, and shift your weight back to the leg. Then move the crutches forward and repeat the movement over and over. You are well on your way.


  • Never support yourself on your armpits. Hold the hand grips for support. This will prevent pain from occurring.
  • While standing, place the crutches 8 in-10 in in front of you.
  • While walking, keep crutches close to your body.
  • Use crutches on stairs only when someone is there to assist you, otherwise try to use an elevator.
  • If you have no choice but to use the stairs with crutches, place the crutches on the next step below, then step down with the good leg.
  • While going upstairs, step up with the good leg first, then bring the crutches up.

Crutches are a great tool to help with mobility. Although this is true, they can also be hard to master. If you are having a hard time using your crutches, contact your podiatrist right away so that you do not cause yourself further injury or damage. Do not have a podiatrist? Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. There foot doctor Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico and his highly trained team can help you learn to properly use your crutches to help aid you during your recovery. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.

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