Young man walking with crutches

How to Stop Crutches from Hurting Your Armpits in 4 Easy Ways

Crutch pain and discomfort is pretty common, but there are ways to make your time on crutches more bearable. Here are four easy tips to stop crutches from hurting your armpits.

1. Consider Other Options

If crutches are too painful for you and are hurting your armpits, there are other options you can consider that will aid your mobility and keep you pain-free. Forearm crutches put the majority of your weight on your forearms and hands—keeping your armpits from getting sore—and knee scooters make it a little easier to get around by placing weight on your knee.

However, these methods still make it very difficult to carry things and have full mobility. Products like the iWALK2.0 allow for hands-free mobility and don’t place any pressure on your armpits.

2. Adjust Your Crutches

To correctly adjust your crutches, stand upright in your regular shoes, then place the crutches under your arm with the bottom of the crutch a few inches in front of your foot. In this position, the top of the crutches should be approximately one to two inches below your armpit. There should also be a slight bend in your elbows when your hand is on the grip so you can move around comfortably.

Adjusting your crutches is often the first step in learning how to stop crutches from hurting your armpits. If your crutches aren’t properly fitted, they will cause additional pain.

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3. Use Crutches Properly

Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t actually rest your armpits on your crutches. This puts weight on your axillary nerve. Compressing the nerve and putting pressure on it for a long period of time can cause permanent nerve damage. Even if you only use your crutches for a short period of time, you may still experience numbness, tingling, or crutch-palsy (temporary paralysis) in your arms if you use them incorrectly.

One of the best ways to stop crutches from hurting your armpits is to stop resting your armpits on your crutches. When walking with crutches, your hands should take most of the weight. Keep your elbows bent slightly and keep your arm straight from your elbow to your wrist. Don’t bend your wrists or you may hurt them as well. Holding your crutches properly can prevent pain and nerve damage in the long run.

4. Add Padding

When it comes right down to it, a great tip on how to stop crutches from hurting your armpits is to add some simple padding.

Man suffering from pain in armpit

It’s no secret that crutches could use some extra padding, and there are even commercial crutch pads you can purchase just for this purpose. In reality, you don’t need an expensive crutch pad to make life with crutches more bearable—an old towel or blanket and some duct tape will do just fine.

Roll the piece of towel or blanket around the top of your crutches and secure it with some duct tape or packing tape. Make sure it’s securely in place so it doesn’t move around. Padding that constantly shifts will be uncomfortable and make it more difficult to use your crutches.

Because the majority of your weight should be on your hands, you may also discover that your palms are getting sore. A great way to increase your overall comfort is to also pad the grip area and make it more comfortable. Make sure that any padding on your grip is securely taped in place so your hands don’t shift on the grip.

Getting Around

Getting around on crutches is difficult, but you can learn how to stop crutches from hurting your armpits by following these steps.

Eliminate crutch pain by using your crutches correctly and consider using alternative ambulatory aids like the iWALK2.0 that don’t put pressure on your armpits and offer more mobility and freedom. 

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