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Exercises for People on Crutches
Crutches help you become mobile while your body heals from injury. Crutches are used by stroke sufferers and those with lower body injuries involving the hips and legs. Learning how to use your crutches safely is essential, says the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. You need to do your exercises on a regular basis to reap the best results.
Going up the stairs can be a crutch exercise for you to do, whether you have a railing or not. If you do not have a railing available, you can go upstairs by stepping up with your strong leg. Your weight needs to be on your crutch's hand grips. After you have raised your body onto the stair, let your weak (injured) leg follow. You do not want to put any weight on your weak leg. Finally, bring up your crutches onto the step to hold your body's weight. You need to make certain that your toes clear the step before proceeding to the next step, if you are wearing a cast.
You can climb stairs while using a railing also. Place both of your crutches underneath your arm on your side that is not against the railing. Hold onto the railing. Step up with your stronger leg. Bring up your weak leg and crutches to the same step. Make certain you lead with your strong leg as you climb the stairs.
Going Down Stairs
Start walking downstairs by reversing the process. This time you need to make certain that your toes are close to the edge of the stairs before moving to the next stair. Place both crutches on the stair below. Lower your injured leg onto the stair. Place all your weight onto the hand grips of your crutches. Step down with your strong leg. Repeat this exercise until you have reached ground level.
Walking downstairs by using a railing can help you. Place both of your crutches underneath your arm opposite the railing. Bring the crutches onto the lower step. Step down with your weak leg. Put your weight onto the railing and crutches. Lower your strong leg.
Walking is an exercise you can do with crutches, whether you wear a cast or not. Place the crutches 8 to 12 inches in front of you. Place as much weight as possible on your weak leg. Push down on the hand grips and step through with your strong leg. Move your crutches forward and repeat this process. While wearing a cast, push down on your hand grips and keep your weak leg off the floor. You will be stepping through your crutches with your other leg.
Straight Leg Raise
You can do straight leg raises to strengthen your leg muscles. Lie on your back. Place a pillow under the heel of your injured leg. Bend your uninjured leg and place your foot flat on your bed. Lift your injured leg while keeping it straight. Hold this lift for five seconds. Slowly lower your leg to the surface. Repeat this exercise five times.
Hand Grip Strengthening
Doing exercises to strengthen your grip will help you hold onto your crutches more efficiently. Find a small ball the size of a tennis ball. Place the ball into your hand. Squeeze the ball for five seconds and release. Repeat with the other hand.
Crystal Welch has a 30-year writing history. Her more than 2,000 published works have been included in the health and fitness-related Wellness Directory, Earthdance Press and Higher Source. She is an award-winning writer who teaches whole foods cooking and has written a cookbook series. She operates an HON-code-certified health-related blog with more than 95,000 readers. Welch has a B.B.A. from Eastern Michigan University.