Although only 2 types are frequently used, there are many other types of crutches. There is a different type of stool for every different ailment.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CRUTCHES
The most widely used and therefore best known crutches in Belgium are the forearm crutches. You use these when you have a broken leg or after surgery, for example. But also people who have more difficult legs, for example due to a physical disability, often use this type of crutches.
Because your hands catch much of your weight and rest on the handles, they are a common cause of sore hands and wrists. Another common problem with these types of crutches is that they easily fall over when you want to free a hand or you wish to put them aside temporarily.
A variation of the forearm stool is the forearm crutch with closed elbow support. The advantage of these stools is that they are attached to your arms, so you cannot drop them. A disadvantage is that you cannot free an arm as easily and so the stool keeps dangling if you wish to answer your phone, for example.
Another common type of stool is the underarm stool. These allow you to maintain an upright posture at all times because they are placed under the armpits. They are not very taxing on your wrists and are sometimes recommended to relieve pressure on the wrists. However, arm crutches give less freedom of movement than forearm crutches. And, if used incorrectly, a condition known as crutch paralysis can even occur due to pressure on the nerves in the armpit.
In America, this still remains the most widely used crank type. Also, it is also the oldest crank type as you In a previous article regarding the history of crutches could read.
The gutter crutch is a type of stool you won't easily come across. This stool has special handles, on which the hands can rest, so to speak. The gutter crutch is often used by rheumatoid arthritis patients, who thus cannot rely too much on their joints.
A final type is the hands-free crutch Or the knee stool, you attach this crutch to the injured leg. The advantage of this stool is that you don't have to use your hands to step, so you can't experience any ailments from this. The challenge with this crutch is that the user must already have a decent balance to move around without falling. Since some of the weight also lands on the knee, some users do experience pain in the affected knee.
LIKE IN THE MOVIES
Underarm crutches are often seen popping up in US films, but you hardly come across these in Belgium. Why is that? In the United States, axillary crutches are usually recommended in cases of injury, while in Europe and other parts of the world, forearm crutches are preferred.
One possible explanation is a cultural one. Underarm crutches would make Americans feel more like a temporary injury, while forearm crutches would give the impression of a long-term injury. Hence, forearm crutches are often used in the United States as a daily walking aid.
IMPROVED EXPERIENCE THROUGH MY ADD ON
Walking with crutches can bring a lot of ailments, such as sore hands or arms. This is where My Add On wants to change. The MySleeve and the MyGelbow are easy to attach to the stool, making it comfort and stability is increased.
The MySleeve is a crutch handle cover to provide more comfort and avoid hand pain. The MySleeves (crutch handle covers) are specially designed for the handles of standard non-anatomic elbow crutches. They fit all these types of crutches, making them universal crutch covers. These crutch covers also each have a small magnet on the top that allows the crutches to click together. This makes the stools much more stable and prevents them from falling over. So you get stable stools.
The MyGelbow is a simple transparent gel that will evenly distribute pressure points on the forearm. You place the MyGelbow on the 'arm pad' of the stool. It also fits all types of elbow crutches, making it, like the MySleeve, universal. The MyGelbow is thus a softening device at the elbow. It avoids irritation and provides good support to the forearm.
Would you like to know how our users experience the MySleeve? Read all about it in our earlier article on our user tests.