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Ways to Keep Crutches From Slipping

Updated March 23, 2017

Crutches help those with leg injuries, such as a broken leg or a sprained ankle, get around during the healing process. They are made to fit under the arms about two inches below the arm pits and have a handle in the middle to hold onto for support. While they do have a rubber bottom that makes it harder for the crutches to slip, there are times when the potential for slipping is much easier, and the crutches can slip out from under an arm, resulting in pain, falls and further injuries.

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Proper Measurements

The best way to prevent crutches from slipping is using a crutch that is sized appropriately. Place the bottom of the crutch on the floor about half a foot outside the feet and let it rest against the rib cage. The proper height of the crutch is measured at about two inches below the arm pits. According to Caring Today, placing the pad directly in the arm pits can cause problems with nerves such as tingling arms and numbness in the arms.

Remove Items That Cause Tripping

Items like rugs, cords or small items on the floor can cause tripping without crutches. When using crutches, the chance of the crutch slipping is much higher because these items do not provide a smooth and steady surface for the bottom of the crutch. Removing these items will make it easier to prevent slips and falls. Put them away until crutches are no longer necessary.

Add Rain or Ice Tips During Foul Weather

Crutches are made with slip-resistant rubber bottoms, which help prevent slipping, but the typical bottom of the crutch is not designed for icy or wet and slippery ground. If there is snow, ice or water on the ground and going outside is unavoidable, invest in foul-weather crutch tips, which are made for slip resistance on slippery surfaces.

Avoid Stairs

Stairs are a danger to anyone on crutches because a slip of the crutch can cause a fall down the stairs. While it is possible to climb and descend stairs on crutches, it is better to avoid the use of stairs whenever it is possible to use an elevator.

Dry Crutch Tips

Whenever the crutch tip, or bottom of the crutch, gets wet, it should be dry before putting it down on a potentially slippery surface. Carry a towel or similar item in case the crutches get wet. A wet crutch tip can slip easily, so keeping something to dry it will prevent slipping.

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