05 Feb Better Design With Less Pain: Mobility+Designed Crutches Are A Better Choice Over The Alternatives
As human beings, one fact we just have to live with is our bodies get hurt. Whether it’s a short-term injury, a long-term disease, or complications related to aging, we all need a little help sometimes with our mobility.
When that times comes, however, it’s tough to wade through all the information and determine which crutch or mobility device is right for your particular circumstance. To help you make an informed decision, we put together a comparison of how the Mobility+Designed products compare to some of the other options out there.
Going to be in a cast for 6 weeks?
Just received a diagnosis of joint hypermobility?
We know it’s a lot to take in, but we want to help make one decision a little easier for you.
Let’s start with which crutches to avoid.
If you are trying to decide which mobility option is right for you, there are definitely some to avoid. These include:
Axillary Crutches – An Old-School Design
Just ask friends or family who have been on these old-school crutches for more than 15 minutes and they’ll likely tell you just how bad these crutches are. You’ll probably hear stories that include:
- Axillary crutches can cause Nerve damage under your armpits due to the pressure the place on those nerves
- Chafing of the skin in the armpit area due to the uncomfortable foam pads
- Strain on hands, wrists and shoulders – ouch!
- Difficulty balancing while trying to use your hands
- Awkwardness from failing to fit perfectly – resulting in extra pain
Axillary crutches are the perfect example of the credo “you get what you pay for”. If you want $15 of comfort, then a $15 pair of traditional crutches will give you that.
Our recommendation is to skip crutches that were literally designed during the Civil War era. They seriously haven’t advanced much in comfort since then.
Forearm Crutches – Shifting The Pain From One Location To Another
Forearm crutches, also sometimes referred to as Canadian crutches, Lofstram crutches, or elbow crutches, have a few advantages over the underarm, axillary crutches. The most important benefit is they are less likely to damage your armpit nerves since the resting pressure of your body weight isn’t in your armpits.
While that seems like a good thing, there are also downsides to the design, as well. These limitations include:
- Forearm crutches shift the pressure forward, putting consequential strain on wrists, hands and shoulders
- Forearm crutches require significant upper body strength to support yourself
- Often, the feet attached to forearm crutches are not designed for rough terrain and can be unstable
- Limited ability to customize the size to meet your specific needs
While forearm crutches do help address some of the nerve-pain issues that users experience with traditional axillary crutches, by shifting the weight to the wrists, hands, and shoulders they create new concerns related to balance and pressure-related pain.
As with axillary crutches, we recommend avoiding forearm crutches, and the potential additional pain and discomfort they can create.
Other Non-Traditional Mobility Aids – Could Limit Your Access To Activities
We’re fans of innovations and applaud fellow inventors in the mobility aid space.
Hands-free options like knee scooters/walkers work well for people whose knees are in great shape and just have a foot or ankle injury. Like our crutches, knee scooters/walkers don’t put strain on hands, wrists or armpits—so that’s a huge plus!
For people who can’t put weight on their knees or are going to be moving through rough terrain or navigate stairs, steps, or curbs these devices sometimes fall short and crutches become necessary.
What you don’t want to do is limit your ability to live your life to the fullest because your knee scooter limits your access to activities that might require stairs.
Mobility+Designed Products – Designed With The User In Mind
When our co-founder, Max Younger, designed the M+D Crutch, his father’s comfort and convenience motivated him.
Max’s dad, Dan, had an above-the-knee amputation, and Max put his industrial design degree (and passion for helping others) toward inventing the ultimate mobility aid for people who were ready to graduate from cumbersome, outdated and painful versions of traditional crutches. That included forearm crutches.
Instead of putting your body weight on your hands and wrists, M+D’s modern mobility aids distribute your body weight more evenly and comfortably on your elbows/forearms.
What Makes Mobility+Designed Crutches Different?
The incredibly sturdy and ergonomic design of the M+D Crutches allow you to live comfortably and conveniently for short-term or long-term use. Here is the proof to why Mobility+Designed’s solutions are the best:
- They enable hands-free use with cradles that break-away and handgrips that rotate out of the way
- They provide relief from chafing and pain
- Versatile, simple height adjustments that allow you to customize the crutches specifically for you
- A design that promotes correct posture and doesn’t force you to hunch over
- A unique crutch foot that is designed for use on rugged or uneven terrain
- Built from materials that are lightweight, yet strong for ease of use
Have more questions about how Mobility+Designed crutches compare to the alternatives? Check out this handy chart that specifies the differences:
Tip: Feel free to print out this handy chart and use it as a discussion aid with your health care professional in order to help them understand why a M+D Crutch would provide you with a better alternative to an axillary or forearm crutch. Click here to print out the chart in PDF format.
Why Are M+D Crutches Better For Short-Term Users?
If you are a short-term user of the crutch and only need them for a few weeks, the M+D Crutch may be the best solution for you because you can rent them! Our rental program allows you to pay for each month that you use them, and if you rent them for more than four months, then you can keep the crutch or donate them to a good cause.
What If I Still Feel That The Forearm Crutch Is Best For Me?
We’ve got you covered!
In March 2020, we are launching a brand new product, called Combo Stix that easily switch between forearm mode and platform mode (similar to our M+D Crutch). While we recommend Combo Stix for short-term recovery, in our initial testing, we heard from some of our long-term users who prefer the option of forearm mode.
Combo Stix – Coming in March 2020
Want a better understanding of how the Combo Stix compares to the M+D Crutch? Here’s a breakdown of the features and how the two products compare.
Still Have Questions Regarding Which M+D Product Is Right For You?
If you still have questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you figure out what mobility device makes the most sense for your specific needs.