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Understanding the Different Types of Crutches and Crutch Gaits

You must have heard about ‘crutches,’ but if you want to buy them or are willing to purchase them for someone else, it is best to know about the different types available.

So, let’s keep it short and learn about the various types of crutches!

Different Types of Crutches

  • Axillary Crutches

Also called underarm crutches, these are the most commonly used crutches engineered using aluminum or wood. They are adjustable models, which makes them suitable for use by most individuals.

Underarm crutches are easy to hold and require flexing your elbows to about 30 degrees. To enhance comfort, its armpit and top are placed at a distance of around two to three fingers and 6-8 inches from the foot level.

These crutches make it easy to stand straight and turn to any position.

  • Forearm Crutches

The other common form of crutches is forearm crutches, which are also known as elbow crutches or Lofstrand crutches. They come with an adjustable handle and non-slip ergo cap, which makes them ideal to gain support for all sorts of disabilities.

The crutch cut off is positioned at a distance of 1 to 1.5 inches from the elbow and allows flexing elbow from 15 – 30 degrees. The crutch bottom is placed 2 to 4 inches from the foot at sideways and 6 inches in the foot front.

It is ideal for patients with lifelong disabilities and offers high-performance and excellent ease of use.

  • Hands-Free Crutch

The hands-free crutch is an alternative to underarm crutches. They keep your hands free, which means you don’t have to hold them in order to gain support, stability, and movement.

If you find underarm crutches unfit as they may hurt your underarms, wrists, or hands, it is worth picking the hands-free crutches. Commonly, they are called knee crutches and are designed exclusively for less sensitive patients.

These crutches would not engage your wrists or hands, and hence, you can use them to perform other tasks while still gaining support for your knees and thighs.

These crutches are designed with a strong base and can easily withstand the weight of different levels.

  • Gutter Crutches

Finally, we have gutter crutches, which are modified versions of forearm crutches. They are mainly used by rheumatoid patients and allow them to maintain a proper balance. They evenly distribute weight so that it is easy for the patients to move and gain support while holding these crutches.

The main feature of this crutch is that they come with soft and comfortable padded forearms. There is an adjustable strap and handgrip linked to durable metal tubing offering great comfort and letting you gain proper posture with ease.

If you are experiencing a weak grip because of joint pain, you must plan to buy gutter crutches.

Understanding Various Kinds of Crutch Gaits

Gait is a term used for the way we walk in the forward directions. If you are suggested to use crutches, you must gain an improved dual legged style. It is because while using crutches, you have to hold strong stamina.

It is of utmost importance to maintain proper gait to gain maximum benefits and comfort from a crutch.

  • Single Crutch

When walking with one crutch, you must hold the crutch on the opposite foot and hand. The crutch base must be placed 4 inches apart.

You need to walk as if the crutch is another leg. When climbing stairs, use stair handles to maintain balance.

  • Two-Point Gait

Such crutch gait uses two or four legs of a crutch at once. With these crutches, you have to use one of your legs and crutch legs simultaneously to move adequately.

  • 3-Point Gait

It is used among patients with restricted movement in one leg. It allows moving in sync and the crutch leg imparts great support to the patients.

  • 4 – Point Gait

It is useful among patients with partial weight-bearing capacity. You need to move your leg and alternate leg of the crutch in order to gain adequate movement.

  • Swing – To Gait

Partial weight-bearing is essential while using this crutch. The patient has to put pressure on both crutches and lean forward in order to move in the forward direction.

  • Swing – Through Gait

You only have to move both of your legs in the cross direction and to cover maximum distance.


No matter what disability you are suffering from, there is a crutch for everyone. Just pick an appropriate crutch from our comprehensive list by clicking at and gain maximum comfort and support while walking, standing, and turning.