Not everyone can adapt to changes. A change can be big or small, but its impact on a person’s life can be quite drastic. But the worst, or well, the best part (depending on your situation), is that life is all about Changes. The only thing you can do about it is to prepare yourself for it.
The first step of preparing yourself is to know that life is unpredictable and has its fair share of ups and downs.
Although we must admit sometimes, it can be hard to prepare yourself for certain things in life, one of which is getting crutches. This is why today we are going to talk about how you can prepare yourself for getting crutches. Everyone has a different experience with it.
Also, make sure to check out my post on Best Fitness Trackers & Smartwatches For Elderly, Blind & Visually Impaired
For some people, it is something they will have to deal with for a short period of time, but for others, it is something they have to carry with them for the rest of their lives.
And to make your experience as easy as we can, these are a few things you can do to prepare yourself beforehand. But remember, neither the good nor the worst parts of your life lasts. Because life never remains the same
Prerequisites Required For Using Crutches
There are certain things or attributes one might say that a person should have before using crutches. Not everyone will have them, obviously, but the entire process will become a lot easier for those who do. They will not struggle as much compared to the people who do not have the following attributes.
Good Upper Limb Strength
This one is a given. When you use your crutches, a lot of your body weight is on your upper limbs. So they need to be strong enough so they can carry that weight. The higher your body mass is, the stronger they will need to be. But regardless of your upper limb strength, prepare yourself for it to hurt because it surely will!
Good Range of Motion of Upper Limbs
Again, this one seems pretty obvious as well. It would be best if you had a good range of motion for your upper limbs because you will use them to move your crutches back and forth. If you have, let’s say, joint pain or struggle with moving your arms properly, you might have some struggles with using your crutches. If it’s a big problem for you, consult your doctor and physical therapist so they can help you out with it.
Sense of Balance
If you struggle with balancing yourself on two feet, what do you think you will do with a broken, normal leg and with crutches that you (most probably) have never used?
It is important to know how to use the crutches properly once you get them, for this reason I added this helpful video.
Muscles Used With Crutches
Before talking about the types of exercises you will need to do to prepare for crutches, let’s talk about the muscles that are used when a person uses crutches. Using crutches is one of those things that you don’t realize how difficult it actually is unless you use it yourself.
Sure, most of us think it might be irritating or even a little bit painful, but most of us don’t realize the sheer strength it takes when using crutches.
So here is a list of the muscles that do most of the work when using crutches:
- Shoulder Flexor
- Shoulder extensors
- Shoulder depressors
- Shoulder adductors
- Wrist extensors
- Elbow extensors
- Finger flexors
I know most of you might not have heard of these muscle groups. Truth to be told, neither did I. But these muscles need to be strong if you need to use crutches. Otherwise, your body won’t be able to take the weight, therefore accidentally putting weight on your bad leg -instinctively, of course.
So before using crutches, you need to prepare your muscles for whatever they are about to go through. For that, you will need to do certain exercises. So without further ado, here are the best exercises you can do to prepare yourself and your muscles for crutches.
Exercises To Prepare Yourself for Crutches
If you are an athletic person, most of these exercises will be easy for you. On the other hand, if you are not and have a body mass on the higher side, you might struggle a bit with these, but that’s because your muscles will not be used to the exertion. However, remember that practice makes perfect and that your future self will thank you for going through this hard work.
It would help if you had good upper body strength to use crutches, and push-ups are one of the best exercises to do so. It works your core as well as biceps and triceps, as well as your pectoral muscles. You can start doing push-ups on your knees as a beginner before moving on to the standard position.
However, if you can’t do push-ups on the ground, you can start with elevated push-ups before moving forward.
Bench Press (Flat, Incline and Decline)
Flat bench presses are great exercises to work on your whole pectoral muscles. If you are someone who has defined upper chest muscles and undefined lower chest muscles, do decline bench presses.
On the other hand, if you have developed lower chest muscles and underdeveloped upper chest muscles, try doing incline bench presses. But, it’s still better to do flat bench presses as they target your whole chest.
Tricep dips are often really, really hard, even for those who are used to doing them. But that’s because they are a great workout, and they work your triceps as well as the muscles on your shoulders. You will have shaky arms at the beginning of doing this exercise. Again that’s because your arms are not used to holding any weight.
But with time, they will get stronger. Start slow and work your way up. Remember, quantity is not important, but the quality of those tricep dips is. It is also better to start off using a machine for this because they also provide you with assistance.
No, I am not trying to kill you guys by suggesting these exercises. I know these sound awful just by reading it, but they are REALLY important for the development of muscles on your shoulder, chest, triceps as well as back muscles. So it is kind of an all-in-one exercise if you really think about it.
Your wrists are likely to suffer a lot from using your crutches. Think about it, if your big muscles like shoulders and carry your body weight and are struggling, what will your wrists go through? Generally speaking, people have very weak wrist muscles, so it is really important to prepare them. Wrist curls are an amazing option.
You can use lightweight and increase with time, as you get comfortable with the weights. If you don’t have access to a gym or dumbbells, you can use heavy objects at home, like a water bottle, as an alternative.
Other Things You Can Do To Prepare Yourself for Crutches
Although the exercises will most definitely help, the best thing you can do is plan everything beforehand. Think of things like how you will use the restroom, how you will cook food, how you will go on the stairs, etc.
This will solve around 50 percent of your problems. It will also help you prepare yourself mentally, and therefore things will not be a sudden shock or surprise for you.
Moreover, if you can, try getting crutches beforehand. This way, you will be able to practice and prepare your body as well as your mind for everything it will go through.
So these were our tips to make your life just a tad bit easier. However, it is also important to note that no one else can make your life easier, not even us. It’s all about mindset and how you see life. There is much more to life than the bad parts in it.
It might take some time, but once you have adjusted to this lifestyle of yours and accepted it with open arms, you will be able to cherish all the other beautiful things that life has to offer. So take your time. There is no rush but on days where everything seems way too overwhelming, know that the good days are just around the corner.
Hi, my name is Eddie, I am a professional trainer specializing in the elderly population and I’m also a website designer. I love training in the gym, going to the beach, traveling, and having good food.
I combined my love for sport and website designing to make “DisabilitEase” whose purpose is to help elderly and disabled people live a more full and active life, have more fun, and enjoy their unique journey despite any disability.