When you’re using crutches, carrying objects can sometimes be tricky. Keeping everything balanced and stable can feel like a challenge, whether it’s a cup of coffee or a bag of groceries.
But don’t worry! This article will share some tips and tricks on how to carry things on crutches.
Whether recovering from an injury or dealing with a long-term mobility issue, these tips will give you more confidence and independence.
Evaluate Your Mobility Before Attempting to Carry Items With Crutches
Before attempting to carry your belongings while using crutches, evaluate your current level of mobility and its implications for your ability to transport objects safely.
This will help you determine the best methods for transporting items without causing additional strain or risking injury.
To assess your mobility, consider the following factors:
- Balance: Can you maintain balance while standing on one leg or shifting weight between both legs?
- Strength: Do you have sufficient upper body strength to support yourself with crutches and hold onto items?
- Dexterity: Can you grip objects securely while maneuvering with crutches?
- Pain tolerance: Will carrying items cause discomfort or exacerbate pain in your arms, shoulders, or affected limb(s)?
Tips on How To Carry Stuff On Crutches
Carrying items while using crutches can be a challenge. Here are some tips on how to carry things with crutches to make your daily activities easier.
1. Use a Three-Finger Grip for Carrying Smaller Items While Using Crutches
One of the easiest ways to carry small items like keys, wallets, or phones is to use a three-finger grip.
Hold the item between your thumb, index, and middle fingers while keeping your other fingers wrapped around the crutch handle.
This grip lets you keep your hands occupied while maintaining balance and stability.
2. A Wrist Strap or Lanyard Helps to Carry Stuff When Using Crutches
Attach a wrist strap or lanyard to items like keys or a small pouch.
This way, you can secure them around your wrist, preventing accidental drops and keeping your hands free for crutch support.
3. Use Velcro Straps
Velcro straps can be a great addition to your crutches when carrying items like books or folders. Simply wrap the strap around the item and secure it to the crutch.
This method allows you to keep your hands free while still carrying your essentials.
Accessories for Carrying Objects While Using Crutches
Using specially designed crutch attachments can be a game-changer when carrying objects while using crutches.
Crutch bags or pouches are designed to attach to your crutches, providing a dedicated space for carrying small items. They are ideal for holding essentials like keys, phones, wallets, or small water bottles.
Cup and bottle holders are attachments that securely hold your drink containers, such as cups or water bottles, to your crutches.
Cane or crutch clips are versatile attachments that can secure various items to your crutches. These clips can hold things like umbrellas, walking sticks, or even bags, freeing up your hands and providing additional support. They are handy when you need to carry larger objects.
Hook attachments are designed to hang grocery bags, purses, or backpacks.
Crutch caddies or baskets are larger attachments for carrying multiple items. They give you a place to store groceries, books, or larger personal items.
Plan Ahead on What To Carry When Using Crutches
Planning and organizing your items can make a difference in your ability to easily carry things while using crutches.
Taking a few simple steps ensures that the items you need are easily accessible and well-prepared for your mobility needs.
Here are some tips to help you plan and organize your items effectively:
1. Pack Lightly When Using Crutches
When using crutches, it’s essential to limit the number of items you need to carry to reduce strain on your arms and shoulders. Doing so will also prevent any discomfort or injury.
2. Prioritize Your Essentials
Determine which items are necessary for your daily activities and focus on carrying only those essentials.
For example, if you’re a remote worker who needs a laptop, prioritize this item over non-essential belongings like extra books or snacks. Leave non-essential items at home or ask someone else to carry them.
3. Accessibility Matters
Keep the items you use most frequently within easy reach. For example, if you often need your phone or keys, store them in a small pouch attached to your crutches or in a pocket that is easily accessible.
Place the most critical items within quick reach and the less frequently used items in a bag or backpack.
4. Use Storage Accessories Made for Crutches
Consider using storage accessories explicitly designed for crutch users.
These accessories may include pouches, pockets, or attachments easily secured to your crutches. They provide convenient storage space for smaller items, allowing you to keep them organized and within reach.
For example, if you need to carry water, use a water bottle holder for crutches
5. Weight Distribution When Carrying Items With Crutches
Distribute the weight of your items evenly. Avoid placing heavy objects on one side, as it can affect your balance and strain your body.
If you need to carry heavier objects, consider using a backpack or a bag with two straps to distribute the weight across your shoulders evenly.
6. Use Lightweight Containers
Select lightweight containers such as dry bags or small backpacks instead of heavy purses or briefcases when packing your belongings.
This will help minimize the overall weight while still allowing you to transport everything securely.
Find out more about how to carry things with crutches below.
Is It Possible to Carry a Suitcase When Using Crutches?
Carrying a suitcase or hauling a rolling luggage when using crutches is not recommended unless absolutely necessary.
Using crutches already requires a certain level of balance and coordination. Add rolling luggage, and you can further disrupt your balance!
It is advisable to use a backpack when traveling while using crutches.
But what if you don’t have other options than to use a suitcase?
- Opt for lightweight, 4-wheel rolling luggage that can stand independently.
- Take smaller steps to maintain control and stability.
- Avoid rushing or taking long strides.
- Only use the luggage on a smooth surface.
- Plan ahead and try to get help with the luggage on uneven surfaces.
What Are Common Mistakes People Make Using Crutches?
Common mistakes people make while using crutches include: 1) Incorrectly adjusting the height of the crutches, leading to discomfort and poor posture; 2) Placing their full weight on their armpits instead of their hands, causing nerve damage and pain.
How Do You Move Better With Crutches?
Ensure they’re adjusted for your height and maintain good posture. Keep your elbows slightly bent when holding onto the handgrips.
Move both crutches forward together, then swing your injured leg through them without bearing weight on it.
How Do You Carry Crutches Upstairs?
Hold both handrails if available, or hold one rail with one hand while carrying both folded-up or secured-together-crutches in another hand; place them securely against the stairs’ edge as support when climbing up each step by stepping first with the uninjured leg, then lift the injured leg behind it.
How Do You Go to School With Crutches?
Going to school with crutches can be challenging, but it’s possible. Use a backpack with a cinch top or velcro straps to carry items, or invest in a travel backpack with wheels to avoid hauling luggage.
The Bottom Line
Life gets easier when you know how to carry things with crutches. You can move items while performing daily activities by assessing your mobility, choosing suitable crutches, packing lightly, and utilizing accessories like velcro straps or a cinch-top backpack.
If you’re struggling with other mobility issues, check out Senior Supported.