How to Walk With Crutches Correctly (Non-Weight-Bearing)

This instructional video shows how to use crutches properly, including walking, sitting and going up and down stairs, for people with non-weight-bearing restrictions. It is very important to follow your doctor's orders regarding your non-weight-bearing status.

To sit in a chair, back up until you feel the chair on the back of your leg. Place both crutches in the hand of your injured side, then reach back for the chair with your other hand while holding your injured leg out in front of you. Carefully lower yourself to the chair, bending at your hips and keeping the weight off your injured leg. Do the reverse to stand back up.

How To Walk With Crutches Non-Weight-Bearing

When you walk with crutches, it is important that you keep the crutches under your arms and close to your sides. Squeeze the top of the crutches into your sides while putting weight on your hands and not through your armpits. This is the correct way. Avoid leaning on the crutches with your armpits.

Move the crutches forward six to 12 inches. Push down on the handgrips as you step forward, holding your injured leg out in front of you, or you may bend at the knee of your injured leg if that is an option. The tips of the crutches and the healthy legs should always form a triangle. This will make you steadier and less likely to fall.

How To Go Up Stairs With Crutches

When going upstairs with crutches non-weight-bearing, begin close to the bottom step. Push down on the handgrips as you step up with your healthy leg, then bring the crutches up next. Check your balance before you continue to the next step. If there is a sturdy handrail available, place both crutches under one arm. Holding the rail with the opposite arm, step up with the healthy leg first and the crutches follow.

How To Go Down Stairs With Crutches

To go downstairs non-weight-bearing with crutches, start at the edge of the step, keeping your hips beneath you. Place crutches on the lower step, holding the injured leg out in front of you. Then, slowly lower yourself down to the next step. Check your balance before you continue.

Make sure you bend at your hip and knee to prevent leaning forward, which could cause you to fall. If there is a sturdy handrail available, hold both crutches under one arm and use the handrail with the other arm. Hold your injured leg out in front of you, then place the crutches down on the lower step as you carefully lower yourself down.

When you are able to start putting weight on your injured leg, make sure you know how to walk with crutches partial weight-bearing.