One of the commonest mobility aids for temporary or permanent disability is the crutches.
Oftentimes, crutches are used to aid movement within short distances by those who have difficulty in walking or suffer from one joint problem or the other, especially around the legs.
In as much as crutches have their benefits as being one of the best mobility devices, they also have their downsides and can sometimes be painful and unbearable to use by most patients.
The major demerit that is quite common with the crutches is sore hands, especially when they are not used correctly.
You’ll learn the various causes of sore hands from using crutches, how to prevent them, and their treatment when you read this article to the end.
Table of Contents
- Causes of Sore Hands from Crutches
- How to Prevent Sore Hands While Using Crutches
- How to Treat Sore Hands from Crutches
Causes of Sore Hands from Crutches
You are most likely to suffer from hand soreness when you use crutches that aren’t your size or ones that don’t fit you properly.
In addition, you must ensure that the grip is rightly parallel to your hip bones without any form of imbalance. This will enable you to move easily and prevent your hands from getting sore.
Lack of padding
Standard crutches often come with padding to support the hands and prevent soreness. However, if your crutches don’t have one, endeavor to get it to help protect your hands.
There are various types of padding to choose from. You can easily get them from any medical supply store or online store.
The way you decide to use your crutches typically determines how painful it will be. Improper usage of the crutches will cause pain in your armpits, shoulders, ribs, and hands.
Therefore, when using the crutches, you must ensure that you balance your body weight correctly by placing your crutches a bit ahead of you with each of them firmly by your sides.
Related: How to Shower with Crutches (Step by Step Guide)
How to Prevent Sore Hands While Using Crutches
The following are some practical ways you can prevent sore hands from crutches.
- Ensure that you get crutches that fit. There are companies who produce customized crutches to ensure that they fit patients properly. They can help you to make customized crutches if you’re unable to find crutches of your size.
- Include extra padding to your clutches if the pads that come with them aren’t sufficient. You can double the size of padding of your crutches to enable you to get more comfort and protect your hands from getting sore.
- Another viable alternative to doubling the padding of your crutches is wearing padded gloves. These gloves come in different varieties and can help to protect your hands from soreness.
- Ensure that you’re comfortable with your crutches. Any form of discomfort will only cause you injuries and hand soreness.
- Learn how to properly walk in your crutches. This is also crucial because if you fail to walk the right way while using the crutches, you will only hurt your hands, shoulders, and armpits in the process.
When walking, always move first with the good leg before the injured one.
How to Treat Sore Hands from Crutches
1. Heat and ice treatment
One of the best ways to treat hand soreness is the use of either ice or heat treatment.
If you’re experiencing hand stiffness and pain, applying heat can help to mitigate the pain. This can be done when you place your hands around a bowl or bottle of warm water and give them a gentle rub to help soothe the pain.
Also, a wax bath can help to reduce hand stiffness and pain. Nevertheless, you should be careful with its usage by reading the instructions carefully and not overheating the wax.
You must, however, avoid doing wax baths if you have open sores.
Alternatively, you can have a warm shower and endeavor to rinse your hands thoroughly as you do so. This will go a long way in helping with hand stiffness. However, don’t try the hot treatment if your hands are swollen; this is to prevent further damage.
The remedy for sore swollen hands is the ice treatment. Just get an ice pack and place it on your hands to help reduce the pain. A bag of frozen corn or peas will do the job well.
Related: How to Pad Crutches with Socks (DIY)
Benefits of heat and ice treatment
- Heat treatment helps to increase blood flow in your hands, especially when you are experiencing hand stiffness and tired muscles
- The ice treatment, on the other hand, helps to limit blood flow in your hands, thereby reducing the swelling and pain you might be experiencing
- Both treatments are good for hand soreness; you can alternate them every day for the best result. This, however, depends on the kind of pain you’re experiencing with your hands
After due consultation with a physiotherapist or hand therapist to help you decide on the best splints to use for your hands, you can proceed to use splints; they are a viable treatment for hand soreness. They can help to give your hands adequate support and reduce the soreness to its barest minimum.
3. Drug treatment
There are different types of painkillers that are capable of helping to reduce the pain of your soreness. These drugs are known as Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). A typical example of such a drug is ibuprofen.
There are also NSAIDs gels that you can rub in your hands to help heal the soreness.
In the same vein, you can take paracetamol to reduce the pain.
It is, however, pertinent to consult your medical practitioner or doctor before taking any of the aforementioned drugs. This will help you to get the right prescription that will work best for you.
Related: How to Walk with Your Crutches Without Getting Tired
4. Performing hand exercises
There are various hands exercises you can do to reduce the soreness and stiffness. Some of them include the following.
You can give your hands a nice massage, especially the painful areas that surround the muscles. This can go a long way in reducing the pain.
This is another easy exercise that can reduce hand soreness. It can be done when you gently make a fist by placing your thumb across your fingers.
Maintain the fist for about 45 to 60 seconds before releasing your fingers and spreading them wide open. Do these processes with both hands 3 to 4 times daily for optimum results.