To attain a reduced weight bearing, many people prefer to get a pair of crutches at the post-injury time. After being lodged in the house or hospital bed for some time, crutches come to us with superb opportunity – a perfect opportunity to make regular movements.
A pair of crutches, therefore, resume your life through going in or out by yourself. But like all modern gifts, there are complications of using crutches which remain less visible most of the time.
It is true that using a pair of crutches will perform an essential part in your post-injury rehabilitation and meets your long-term mobility requirements. But their consistent usage will initiate a discrepant effect for the body. And these side effects of using crutches can hurt you as well. There are several possible effects of using a pair of crutches.
Different Side Effects of Using Crutches for a Long Time
- Irritation of the Skin: A common side effect is the skin irritation which is caused by the crutch saddle. Through rubbing and chaffing, it induces the irritation at the axilla or underarm.
- Bruised Ribs or Soreness: There comes continuous pressure from the saddle of the crutch to your ribs. Thus it triggers the bruising of the ribs along with armpit soreness.
- Damaged Nerve System: You do know that the saddle keeps pressing the underarm and axilla the whole time. Conventional crutches with extended length provide significantly higher stress. Over prolonged usage, this intense pressure can cause severe damage to the nerve system. In extreme cases, it may lead to compressive neuropathy or crutch palsy for the brachial plexus.
- Hand or Wrist Injury: If you use the crutches for long-term support, it results in continuously high stressing over the upper portion of the hand. In fact, these upper extremities develop numerous painful strains. It includes soreness or pain at the wrist, blistered or calloused hands, discomforting shoulder movement, shoulder fatigue with carpal tunnel syndrome. For patients having heart problems or weakness, it may end up in providing cardiac arrest.
- Artery Damage: If you have quite a higher body weight, you have to put further stress on weight-bearing crutches. This significantly additional pressure induces increased pressure on the arteries. Thus the excess pressure causes damage to them which results in aneurysms. In this case, you may undergo sensitive surgical repairing or sufficient amputation.
- Atrophy for Lower Body Parts: The lower part of the body performs a significant role to transfer the body weight. Using crutches makes them passive from weight bearing. A long break triggers the atrophy of the muscles due to the lack of weight-bearing exercise. It gradually weakens the muscles which allow diminished flexibility along with natural fatigue. The crutch helps you to heal the injury of the lower part and again, causes deterioration of the leg muscle at the same time. Although you can’t get rid of the complications mentioned above of using crutches in full scale, you can make sufficient improvements. You should adopt some everyday reduction basics to experience the side effects in the minimum extent.
- Improved Contact with the Pad: The crutch top stabilizes both the inner arm and upper torso. It induces uncomfortable friction between your skin and the metal frame. To avoid this, place the crutch tips in the front of the feet to form a suitably shaped triangle. The formation needs to be broad enough to make you move while it should be reasonably narrow to carry the weight through downward pushing of the handle.
- Keeping the Underarm off the Pad: The first pad of the crutch must not touch the underarm while moving around. In fact, the pad should be located at 1.5-2″ below your armpit. These types of crutches will reduce stress over the arms and reliefs it from any weight bearing.
- Spreading Workaround: A handgrip should come up with an even size to fit the hip. You must ensure almost no or slight bending of the elbow. Try to use the triceps to initialize the physical motion while an effort to engage the shoulder, chest along with forearms.
- Simplifying the Routine: Make a routine you can afford every day without any difficulty. It is better to do some exercises for the legs, ankles, and knees. Depending on your physical condition and strength, you should simplify the routine and undergo regular implementation.
You may think of the crutches as some temporary aids to help you with your movement. But for an injured person, the crutches have critical acceptance to make a quick and effective rehabilitation.
You need to concern about the reduction of the side effects of using crutches as far as possible. So, if you are in the necessity of having a pair of crutches, choose with utmost care. With the right one, you will see the end of the recovery period pretty soon.