How to Make Crutches More Comfortable.

Updated on November 02, 2010
K.C. asks from Salina, KS
11 answers

I sprained my ankle yesterday & have to use crutches for 3 days (no weight bearing on my ankle) then I have to use them until I can handle putting full weight on my ankle. The whole time I also have to wear an air cast (for 10 days).
Does anyone have any ideas on how to make the underarm part of the crutches less painful? I've seen people use washcloths, but that didn't seem any better. My underarm mussle/tendon (or whatever it is called) feels bruised, so any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

Thank You & God bless!

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So What Happened?

Thank You to everyone who responded to my question! I have found that putting more weight on my hands & less on my underarms has been a great help. I never realized all the different muscels you use with crutches! It is exausting! At least I only have a few more days left.

Thank You & God bless!

Featured Answers



answers from St. Louis on

it will take a few days to toughen/strengthen up those arms & underarms!

Yes, washclothes can be used. But we prefer using hand towels to give more cushioning. We also have used fiberfill (for quilting) under the towels!

& for long-term usage, my son relies on armband crutches. He finds them much easier to use. He also has a walker which is a pain, but much easier on his body. (fyi: he was diagnosed at age 6 w/ a degenerative hip disease & just underwent his 1st hip replacement at age 23. He's a pro at medical equipmt!) Good Luck!

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answers from Kansas City on

The answers to the posts offer good suggestions, but properly fit to the crutches, the weight should be borne on your hands instead of arm pits and there should be some space from the arm pit to top of crutches. There are foam pads designed for the arm rests on the crutches, ask the physical therapy dept. at the local hospital for assistance in fit and training.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Sorry to hear about your injury.
I have lots of experience with crutches. They suck!
Make sure they are adjusted properly...that's the main thing. They aren't really meant to go all the way up into your arm pits.
I'm boney, so the worst part for me was the rubbing along my sides. You can try something to pad them.
Crutches are very painful until your muscles, etc get used to them. The first few days are the worst. It does get better.
When I broke my leg, the hospital gave me crutches and sent me for follow up with another doctor. He completely readjusted my crutches and it really helped, not just with the comfort but with being able to navigate.
Unfortunately, there just isn't any way around the discomfort all together until you get a little more used to having your weight on your arms and shoulders, etc. It does get better though.

Hang in there!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Make sure they're set properly. The crutch should be as high as your nipple line. Once you've set the top for that, place the crutch against your body and let your arm rest at the side of your body. The handle should be at your wrist.

Fortunately you only have 3 days of crutches. The best thing to do would be to try and stay off of it as much as possible if your life responsibilities permit that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

three or four years ago I severely sprained my ankle and I was in the middle of a family event that happens every Fourth of July. The ONLY thing that stopped blisters and raw skin was sticking an entire pad of mole skin where the crutches ride. Surprisingly with all the sweat and friction it stayed on. Mole skin is my hero.



answers from Kansas City on

You poor thing!! I feel for you!! My 12 year old son was recently put in a boot and had crutches. I actually gave that up when it was so hard for him, and got a wheelchair!! Anyway, I will tell you what the Dr told us about walking on crutches (which wasn't easy). They said do not put your crutch up in your armpit, it will hurt. They said to keep your elbows locked and walk that way by using your arm muscles. Well, that didn't work for him either, but thought I'd pass it along, maybe it will help you.



answers from Wichita on

Sorry to hear about your accident! I'll pray for a fast recovery since I know that you have two kiddos to keep up with too! My only suggestion would be to put memory foam over the armpit rests.
Best of luck and no more marathons (LOL).


answers from Los Angeles on

Are the crutches the right HEIGHT for you?
Is the hand grasp bar at the right HEIGHT for you?

If there's no one in your life who knows how to judge this
while watching you try using the crutches,
it might be worth going to, for example,
your neighborhood fire station and ask someone(s) there for advice.

I don't understand "non weight bearing" crutches.
If they're not bearing your weight, what are they doing for you?



answers from St. Louis on

You need to make sure the crutches are the right height for you. In front of a mirror stand with your crutches at your side under your arms and let you hands dangle. Your wrist crease should be at the height of the hand rest on the crutch. There should be a space about 2 finger's width in between your armpit and your crutch top. You can put a wash cloth around the top part to give some extra padding, but it will still be tough on your armpits. When you are sitting and resting, try swinging your arms around in circles gently to stretch the muscles and improve blood flow to the area.



answers from Portland on

i used hand towels and wrapped them around the under arm part. it seemed to help but there was nothing i could find to make it completly go away



answers from Joplin on

Do NOT put weight on the underarm part of the crutch !
As someone who has used crutches a lot, and been instructed on how to do so, I can tell you you will have more serious problems that sore arm pits. There are major arteries that run through there, as well as nerves.
Put your full weight on your HANDS. Cover the hand parts with something soft that won't slip and twist, then lift your body off the arm parts and let your hands carry the burden. You will be much more comfortable all over and not do serious damage to yourself.