How to Use Crutches to Go Up and Down Stairs

Written by catherine chase
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How to Use Crutches to Go Up and Down Stairs
Stairs may seem daunting when you are disabled. (stairs image by AGITA LEIMANE from Fotolia.com)

When you first become injured it may take awhile to acclimate yourself to moving in different ways. Practice walking with your crutches on a level floor. Ask someone to help you move throw rugs, extension cords and similar items out of your way. When you are comfortable with the crutches, practice going up and down stairs. The first few times you do this, you may wish to have someone help you in case you lose your balance. You may use an upright or a seated position to navigate stairs.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Sit on a lower step, facing away from the steps. Arrange your crutches so that they are lying up and down the stairs, rather than across them. Slide both of your crutches as far up the stairs as you can reach and let go of them. The seated method necessitates moving your crutches up the stairs as you ascend, rather than using them to bear your weight.

  2. 2

    Place your hands behind your back while sitting.

  3. 3

    Transfer your weight to your hands and your weight-bearing foot.

  4. 4

    Lift yourself up to the next highest step. Repeat this process for each step, moving your crutches further up the steps as you go.

  1. 1

    Sit down on the top of the stairs, feet dangling down the steps. Arrange your crutches so that they are lying in an up and down position on the stairs. Slide your crutches as far down on the steps as you can reach and let go of them.

  2. 2

    Grasp the edge of the step on which you are sitting.

  3. 3

    Transfer your weight to your hands. Place weight on your weight-bearing foot as well.

  4. 4

    Lift yourself down to the next lowest step. Repeat this to continue down the stairs. Keep moving your crutches down more steps as you progress.

  1. 1

    Slide one crutch up the stairs as far as you can reach and let go of it. You only need to hold onto one of your crutches for this method. As you ascend, you must slide the crutch you are not holding further up the stairs.

  2. 2

    Tuck the other crutch under your arm on the side of your injured leg. Grasp the handrail with your other hand.

  3. 3

    Position your injured leg behind you. Keep it elevated.

  4. 4

    Walk up the steps, leading with your weight-bearing foot. Slide the crutch you are not using further up the stairs as you progress.

  1. 1

    Slide one of your crutches down the stairs as far as you can manage and let go of it. Going down the stairs is similar to going up the stairs with the walking method. You must continue to slide the crutch that you are not holding further down the stairs as you descend.

  2. 2

    Place your other crutch under your arm. It should be on the same side as your injured leg.

  3. 3

    Hold the handrail with your other hand.

  4. 4

    Position your injured leg in front of you, not behind you. Keep it elevated.

  5. 5

    Lower yourself down each step, using your weight-bearing foot and the handrail and crutch for balance.

Tips and warnings

  • Walk up or down with a crutch under each arm if there is no handrail. Hop on the next step, up or down, with your weight-bearing foot.

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