Crutches are a boon to people suffering from a leg injury or disability. However, at the same time, there can be severe pain if not handled well. One of those problems is a pain in the armpits.  The tingling you feel in your armpits and skin irritation is a common indication that axillary nerves are getting compressed and it needs to be stopped as soon as possible.

Though we cannot remove the pain the armpits, we can subsequently take actions to prevent it. Problems faced by using traditional crutches include sore armpits, shoulder pain, rib pain, hand pain etc. The only reason behind it is the inexperience regarding proper usage of the crutches.

Regardless of the modifications and variations of crutches available, underarm crutches are still predominant and widely used all around. It is essential to use your crutches wisely for a better posture and stability and also to avoid further accidents regardless of the various difficulties it possesses.

Axillary Nerves

While using crutches, it is recommended not to rest your armpits over it. It compresses the axillary nerves. This compression does not lead to any problem initially. But if repeated for a long term, it can cause permanent nerve damage thereby leading to paralysis in the shoulder area. It is advisable not to rest your armpits on the crutches at all while walking. It will deteriorate your posture as well as damage your axillary nerves.

Skin Irritation

Another problem that arises while using crutches is skin irritation. It is caused by the continuous rubbing of the skin when using underarm crutches. The main reason behind this is insufficient padding and long term usage. It is beneficial to use a folded washcloth on the top of the crutch and wrap a towel around that. It is recommended to wear clothes that cover the skin of your armpit to prevent chafing.

How to Manage Arm Pain?

Here is a list of what to do and not to do to avoid the pain:

  • Never rest your armpits on the crutches while walking to prevent compression of the axillary nerves.
  • While walking, hands should mostly balance the whole weight of the body. You should make a conscious effort to use your chest, hip pressure and shoulder to help your arms make each step.
  • Sufficient padding must be provided for more comfort and to prevent sore arms.
  • Give yourself plenty of time in between walking.
  • Use newly designed alternatives aids that don’t put pressure on the armpits and offer more mobility.

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