12 Benefits of Using Forearm Crutches

Recovering from a lower leg injury or surgery? Experiencing long-term mobility problems? Staying active without exacerbating your condition requires supportive, nimble mobility aids that help redistribute your weight and prevent you from having to use a wheelchair.

Most often, crutches are prescribed for something like a midfoot sprain, fractured ankle, or condition which limits mobility, however, crutches are notoriously hard to manage and can lead to further injury when improperly used. Finding the right type of crutches can make a huge difference in helping you get around safely. That’s why more and more people are taking to forearm crutches to make this happen.

 What is the difference between axillary and forearm crutches? 

The most recognizable crutches are probably axillary crutches – they stand vertically and rest under the armpit with the hands dropped further down bracing reinforcing bars to help hold weight. Axillary crutches can be bulkier and much harder to use, especially when navigating up or down stairways.

Improper and extended use of axillary crutches can actually lead to nerve damage as well. When the top platform of this type of crutch consistently places pressure on the axillary nerve which runs through the armpit down the arm it can lead to injury and nerve damage. This is known as axillary nerve dysfunction or nerve palsy and symptoms might include burning, tingling, pain, numbness, and weakness in an around the shoulder and upper arm.

Forearm crutches on the underhand are known to be much more maneuverable and less problematic. They feature a shorter overall staff with cuffs to rest the forearms and non-slip grips for the hands to hold onto.

 What are the benefits of using forearm crutches? 

When it comes to managing a disability or other mobility-limiting condition, long-term use forearm crutches offer an array of benefits to keep you safe and active – these include:

  1. Lighter weight and more compact than other crutches

  2. Better maneuverability

  3. Easier to ascend and descend stairs (with practice)

  4. Ergonomic design for stability and comfort

  5. Non-slip crutch tips to prevent falls

  6. Improved walking speed and agility

  7. Reduced pressure on weaker and injured lower limbs

  8. Prevents damage to hands and wrists

  9. Allows for more types of gait and pace

  10. Lets you bend over easily to pick something up

  11. Simplifies sitting down and standing up

  12. Helps you maintain good body postures

Underarm crutches can pull your shirt up when you use them, stain the underarm areas of your clothes, and are generally more tedious because of their length, bulk, and rigidity. Forearm crutches, on the other, hand are often easier to manage, use, and store.


The most important way to pick the right set of crutches for you is to talk with your doctor, think about your specific needs, and see what other people are saying about the crutches they prefer. Many forearm crutches come with additional features including wide feet grips, utility lights, crutch bags, push-button extension, safety locks, articulating crutch tips, and ultra silent maneuverability. The right pair of crutches can be essential to helping you maintain your mobility and independence, no matter what your medical condition or injury.

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