Enhancing Comfort: A Comprehensive Guide to Improving Crutch Usability

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  • Post last modified:October 6, 2023

You misplaced your footing, or, even worse, you were involved in an incident. Regardless of how it occurred, finding yourself on crutches is not an enjoyable experience. Additionally, were you aware that you can actually sustain more injuries from the very crutches that are intended to assist in your healing process?

How can you enhance the comfort of your crutches? You can modify the crutches to increase their comfortability. You can also learn the specific techniques for using crutches in order to avoid further injury, or you can search for an alternative to crutches.

Continue reading to acquire all the necessary information on how to make crutches more comfortable.


Enhancing the Comfort of Crutches

You are already experiencing discomfort due to your injuries. In order to alleviate some of this discomfort, it is necessary to make your recovery process as bearable as possible. Let us begin with the cushioning.

Padding for the Armpits

When considering how to make crutches more comfortable, it is important to contemplate where the highest amount of pressure will be exerted while using them. Most crutches are equipped with some form of padding for the hands and armpits. However, typically, this type of cushioning is inadequate.

To make yourself more comfortable, it will be necessary to create some homemade padding for your crutches.

Search through your drawers or closets at home for any old towels and duct tape. Although these tools may not be the most fashionable, they are the most practical DIY crutch pads available.

Spread out the old towel or small blanket and fold it in a manner that is slightly wider than the uppermost cushion of the crutch. Then proceed to wrap it around.

Wrap the towel around the top of the crutch, and then utilize the duct tape to secure it in place.

Test the crutch to ensure that your padding remains fixed. It is crucial that the padding does not shift or unroll while you are maneuvering with your crutches.

At best, movable padding will make the crutches even more uncomfortable. At worst, it could elevate the risk of falling and inflicting further injuries on yourself.

You do not have to limit yourself to merely wrapping the armpit pads with a towel and duct tape. You can attempt to place the padding underneath the pads, as this may enhance the comfort of the crutches. Sometimes, utilizing a crutch cushion alone may not yield satisfactory results, and therefore, it is worth exploring alternative options for crutch pads or considering commercial alternatives.

Padding for the Hands

It is not only the armpits that suffer when using crutches. If you are correctly utilizing the crutches whereby the majority of your weight is placed on your hands, your hands will inevitably become tired and sore.


No one’s hands are accustomed to the amount of pressure you exert on them when using crutches.

You can enhance the padding on your hand grips similar to what you did with the armpit grips. Adding more padding will make crutch use easier on your hands.

So once again, find a small towel that is just slightly wider than the handgrip. Then fold it up so that you can place it on top of the grip. Wrap the entire grip in duct tape.

There is always the possibility of the padding slipping or rolling on the handgrips. You need sturdy hand grips. If you do not have stable hand grips, you may end up falling with your handgrips rolling under your hands.

If you are unable to create stable, alternative handgrips, then consider purchasing alternative grips that do not shift. Grips specifically designed for your crutches will work best if you are unable to get some homemade grips to work.

The discomfort of your crutches may result from an improper fit. You require crutches that fit your body.

If you have crutches that are too tall, they will cause friction in your armpits. If you have crutches that are too low, your back will ache, and you will find yourself constantly leaning forward.

So even if you spend abundant time and effort to create better cushioning, poorly fitting crutches will still cause discomfort. In fact, you could sustain further injuries with ill-fitting crutches.

Nerve Damage

For instance, crutch pads that are too tall for you will dig into your armpits. They can actually bruise the tissue and result in nerve damage.

In fact, you can injure the nerve endings found in your crutches when those armpit pads dig into your armpits.

The end result is known as “crutch paralysis.” This temporary paralysis occurs when crutches harm your nerve endings.

Irritated Skin

Skin is the largest organ in your body. It can weigh up to 20 pounds, and it is the organ most susceptible to injury. However, it also heals the fastest.

Whenever a foreign substance rubs against your skin, you are at risk of skin irritation. That irritation can lead to long-term effects such as idiopathic eczema and even infections if you do not care for your skin properly.

Crutches can cause irritation on your hands and armpits if you do not properly care for your skin or if the crutches do not fit correctly.


You are likely using crutches because you fell or were injured in an accident.

Ironically, utilizing orthopedic aids can result in subsequent tumbles and additional harm.

are tricky. They have these that are supposed to stay put. But if you’re walking on a slippery or icy surface, a can easily slip out from under you and cause you more injuries. 

You could also re-injure what you’re trying to protect. When you use , you’re attempting to avoid putting weight on a limb. You’re protecting it. 

When a unexpectedly slips out from under you, your body instinctively puts weight on that limb you’re trying to protect. You can also trip when your catches on a cord or when you fail to . carry their own risks with them. 

Muscle Pain

aren’t natural. You don’t practice with them, and you do not use them until you have to. Thus your body has to acclimate to the new muscle groups you’re not demanding work from. 

After a day on , you might notice pain in places where you’re not injured. Your , , and even will begin to hurt. You must engage different muscles than you need for walking when you use

Your , , , and even might hurt as a result of using , making them overall incredibly uncomfortable. 

Adjust , Increase Comfort

No matter how much cushion you put on your , if they are not the right size, you will not be comfortable. 

Even before you begin wrapping the cushions with duct tape and towels, begin to look at your and your height. Too tall of will dig into your armpits, and too short will make your backache. 

Most likely, when you purchased your , you needed to tell the store your height. If you’re a 6’4″ man, the store would not give you meant for a 5′ woman. 

in ranges, though. So even though you bought for your specific height, you will need to adjust them just for you. They’re most likely made for a range of a few inches. 

Adjust your first so it does not dig into your armpit as you’re standing over it. Put the a couple of inches in front of your feet. At this position, you should have about two inches between your armpit and the

Adjust the height accordingly so that it does not touch your armpit in this position but rather is a couple of inches below your armpit. 

After you adjust the height of your , look at where the is.

With your are just a couple of inches below your armpits, grab the . Are your slightly bent? Are your wrists straight and in line with your hips? 

This is where your and wrists should be. If your are not slightly bent or your wrists are not in line with your hips, then adjust your so they line up like this. 

Do You Really Need Crutches?

This is a contentious topic, but if your crutches are causing you discomfort or supplementary injuries, inquire if you truly require crutches. Perhaps you possess alternative choices apart from crutches that will keep you mobile and aid in your speedy recovery.

Forearm Crutch

The forearm crutch is technically still a crutch, but it does not necessitate the utilization of your armpits. It safeguards that area. You possess a cup that encircles your upper arm, and you lean on the handgrip of the crutch.

Forearm crutches function well if you possess sturdier forearms and do not necessitate the stability of a conventional crutch.

Hands-Free Crutch

This is a novel type of crutch that does not require any utilization of your hand. Some individuals refer to it as a peg-leg crutch. You can still move around comfortably and retain your mobility.

This type of crutch will strap to your thigh. Your lower leg is bent at a 90-degree angle, and your knee rests on a pad. Below the pad is a peg leg or what resembles the remainder of a crutch.

Thus, you essentially walk on the lower crutch instead of your leg. This type of crutch works well if you have injured your foot or ankle and need to safeguard this joint. It does not work well if you have a knee injury since you are placing weight on your knee.

If you are utilizing a knee brace, you cannot utilize the hands-free crutch but instead have to utilize a different aid such as a traditional crutch or forearm crutch.

Knee Scooter

A knee scooter works similarly to a hands-free crutch except it has wheels rather than the peg underneath your knee. So if you injure your foot or your ankle, you can glide around on the knee scooter.

Frequently, the knee scooter will possess handlebars you can grasp onto and pivoting front wheels so you can “steer” your scooter.

Knee scooters have their limitations as well, though. You cannot utilize them on gravel, dirt, or uneven surfaces. Therefore, they only work efficiently on concrete or smooth floors.


If you have a severe injury and crutches cause you excessive pain, a wheelchair is your optimal choice. This is unquestionably the most comfortable but also the most restrictive alternative to crutches.

You still have to utilize your hands to move around, and not every setting is wheelchair-friendly. Opting for a wheelchair may considerably restrict your mobility.

Nevertheless, you will also find yourself in the best position to recover. You will be completely off your feet and capable of healing without any risk of unintentionally placing weight on a limb.

One Crutch

Experiment a bit with utilizing just one crutch. Sometimes your injury does not warrant the use of two crutches. After all, some individuals even walk after they rupture their ACL, a significant ligament in your knee.


All of these alternatives can function to keep you more at ease. Crutches are most likely your optimal choice, however, since they grant you the chance to gradually apply pressure on your wounded limb. You can gradually relinquish the need for crutches, progressively placing weight on the limb.

As you go through your physical rehabilitation exercises, you still want to have those crutches conveniently accessible in case they are needed.


Remain Secure, Remain Content

As you can observe, there are several approaches that demonstrate how to enhance the comfort of crutches. A couple of towels and some adhesive tape can certainly assist, but they are not your only possibilities.

Before you commence improvising with the crutches provided by your physical therapist, always consult your doctor to identify your finest choices. It is possible that a reliable knee brace alone is sufficient for a swift recovery, and you can retain the crutches as a memento.

While recuperating from knee injuries in particular, keep utilizing caution. We can expedite your recovery process with our cutting-edge braces and icing kits. Take a moment to reach out to us so that we can offer our assistance.