Forearm or elbow crutches have shackles around the forearm and handles to grip and support you when you walk. If you are given crutches by a doctor or nurse, pay close attention to their advice. You will probably need to adjust the height of the crutches to a fit that is comfortable for you. The arm crutches are fairly easy to adjust, but make sure the crutches are securely in place once adjusted to prevent accidents.
Method 1 of 2: Adjusting the Height
Step 1. Check the height of the crutches handle
The first thing to do when adjusting crutches is to measure the position of the handles at your height. Stand straight, relax your shoulders and let your arms hang by your sides. Have someone help you balance if needed, and put one crutch by your side. Check where the handle is in your hand (it should be at wrist level).
- Make sure your arms hang down and are fully extended at your sides.
- Adjust the handle until it is at your wrist level.
Step 2. Adjust the handle height
If you want to adjust the height of the grip on the crutches, look for spring buttons on the leg extensions on the crutches. Along the holes on the sides of each crutch are small knobs or metal knobs that can be adjusted.
- To adjust the height of the handle simply press this button and then extend or shorten the leg extension by pressing it up or pulling it down.
- If the leg extension is immobilized, the button may not have been fully pressed.
Step 3. Check this new height
Once you have adjusted the height of the crutches, do a test run. Stand normally and grip the handles as if crutches are being used. Now look at your elbows. The angle formed by the elbow should be between 15-30 degrees.
- Look in the mirror or ask someone for help if you can't see your elbow.
- Make sure the height of both crutches is the same.
Step 4. Fix the crutches to the correct height
After the height of the crutches has been adjusted, the crutches adjustment needs to be secured so that it does not shift again. Make sure the spring button is properly seated in the hole. The crutches should be firm again and the leg extension immobile.
- After inspection, tighten the ring under the adjustment hole.
- These rings are called “collars”, and can be tightened like screws.
Method 2 of 2: Adjusting the Shackles of the Arm
Step 1. Check the position of the hand shackle
Once the height of the crutches has been adjusted, it's time to move on to the hand shackles. The shackle is ring-shaped and made of plastic and rests on the arm when using crutches. When you put your arms down and stand up, the shackles should be around your forearms, just below your elbows.
More precisely, 2.5-5 cm below the bend of your elbow. Shackles should not limit your elbows
Step 2. Adjust the position of the shackle
If the shackle is not in the correct position, adjust it so that the crutches can be used safely and comfortably. The way of adjusting the shackle is almost the same as that of the crutches handle. Look for button springs on each crutch. It is located behind the crutches, where the shackle is attached to the crutches.
- Press the button and slide the shackle up or down as needed.
- You can see the adjustment holes for the shackle along the side of the crutches.
- If the shackle is shaped like a horseshoe and has an opening, this opening should be facing forward, in the direction you are facing.
Step 3. Secure the shackle position
When the shackle is at the correct height, secure it so that it doesn't shift again. First of all, check the spring button and make sure it is secure and not easy to press again. Then, tighten the "collar" under the shackles on each crutch. Also check the collar on the crutches handle to make sure the collar is still securely attached.
Sometimes, on forearm crutches you can also adjust the width of the shackle so that it fits better in your hand. The hands cannot move freely but will lie securely
- Check the condition of the rubber ends of the crutches. If the tip is damaged, it may be best to replace or repair it. The end of the crutches provides stability so that damage to the tip of the crutches can cause slipping.
- You should be assisted by a doctor or nurse in adjusting the position of the crutches and showing you how to use them correctly.
- Clean the crutches with a mild detergent
- Make sure the position of the spring button on the elbow is locked. Otherwise, the crutches may slip and result in an accident.
- The shackle is not designed to support body weight but to provide stability when using elbow crutches.