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Crutches (cont.)

Function of Crutches

A crutch must do two things: reduce weight load on one of your legs and broaden your support base to improve your balance and stability. The support also should assist upright movement and transmit sensory cues through the hands. A crutch allows people with paralysis or other disabilities the benefits of upright posture and lets them maneuver in places they cannot go with a wheelchair.

A crutch becomes necessary when a person cannot walk or walks with extreme difficulty. Any person with leg or foot pain or injury, weak muscles, or an unstable gait may benefit from using a crutch or crutches. Regaining upright body movement aids circulation, assists kidney and lung functions, and helps prevent calcium loss from your bones.

Crutches shift the force of upright movement from your legs to your upper body. You must have sufficient arm strength, balance, and coordination to use them effectively.

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