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The UKFibromyalgia Forums • View topic - Does anyone else use forearm crutches or 2 canes?



Does anyone else use forearm crutches or 2 canes?

Any tips on what helps you including alternative medicine.

Moderators: perseus, *Lisa*, FluppyPuffy

Does anyone else use forearm crutches or 2 canes?

Postby Melissa » Sat Dec 10, 2005 9:58 pm

Melissa
 

Postby IanR » Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:49 pm

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Postby dee » Mon Dec 12, 2005 11:02 am

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Postby Beth » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:03 pm

Hi melissa

Ive used forearm crutches off and on for the last 3 years but my walking has got to teh point where i cant walk long distances without them, but this just my body and the way it works.
Dont be embarrased about going out in them, use whatever means are comfortable for you to live your life.
The people in the street dont know your problem and like Dee said just because they cant see it doesnt mean its not there. there could be a thousand reasons why your using them and they probably never see you again so dont be bothered about what they think. When my arms hurt though i simply cant go out and ive accepted that.
As for work i used to take mine in with me and when people asked i simply explained that fm is a problem which affects my muscles and makes them sore and weak and sometimes they arent strong enough to hold me up, so i just use the crutches to give them a break and recover. They are walking aids as in they help me walk.
Please dont be embarrased about it, its what you need to get on with your life and to live in comfort just like others do.
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6 weeks

Postby Melissa » Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:59 pm

Melissa
 

me too

Postby Joann » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:45 pm

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crutches etc

Postby poppy » Tue Jan 24, 2006 12:24 pm

Hi. I was wondering, I have just been diagnosed and for the last 4 months have not walked further than 200 yards (life is pretty restricted!!!). The longest I travel not in a car is round the supermarket. On a good day i can follow my husband round and just flake out all evening. On a bad day I last for a few mintues then wait in the car.
I am reluctant to use crutches as I used them for a year for a chronically painful ankle and ended up with arm and back pain as well from using them. I have thought about using a wheelchair so that I can get about easier. I know my family would be dead against it, I have had to battle to explain why i want to get a disabled parking badge. It would just mean life isnt so restricting. But, how could I get one?? Would I need to buy one (cash flow crisis!).

I know I need to keep exercising and I am trying to!! But I need to live as well. I read the doctors medical advice pack and it says to discourage walking aids, so dont think I should ask GP. Advice would be v much appreciated!
x
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Postby Beth » Tue Jan 24, 2006 2:43 pm

Hi poppy

yes doctors discourage teh use of walking aids because they try to keep you as independant as possible but at the end of the day you can not become a hermit either. If you need the help with walking then you need the help its as simple as that. If they help you and you feel yoruself getting stronger then you can gradually stop using them.

HAve asked about any help from occupational therapy. I got my crutches from the hospital after i collapsed and they told me to keep them. Im not sure but it may be worth mentioning it to your doctor because then at least you know where they stand on the matter.
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Hi Poppy

Postby Melissa » Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:47 am

I've been on the crutches for almost 2 months and haven't had any back or arm problems. If you were using crutches for a bad ankle, then you had to put a lot of weight on the crutches. The way I use mine is to use the 2-point gait or sometimes the four point gait. In the 2-point I put my right foot and left crutch forward at the same time, then the left foot and right crutch together. I am just using the crutches for light support and don't put very much weight on them, unless I've done a lot of walking during the day, like at the mall or something. Then I lean on them pretty heavily at the end of the day. But most of the time I'm using them more for steadiness and this doesn't take a lot of arm strength cause the forearm crutches are so stable.

Your past difficulty with crutches was because you were using them for a different kind of problem.

Btw, there is a crutch company called walk easy. On their web site are little animations that show the different crutch gaits. The 2 point and 4 point are the ones you want for fibro. If you look, you'll see that they are pretty easy on the back and arms.

Melissa
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Crutches

Postby BuffyBoo » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:29 am

Hello all,
Sorry to sound like a party pooper but you really need to be careful if you are using crutches without them being recommended by a physio and properly measured for your height and gait.
I am supposed to be working at a spinal rehab unit (have been off 6 months) so I kinda have some experience of crutches from the "other side". If you use the crutches incorrectly you could be putting strain on other muscle groups and excessive use of them can lead to a bit of muscle wastage as you are not using your leg muscles properly.
I'm the first to recommend aids and making thing easier for yourselves just please remember, before you buy any crutches, that you need to be assessed by someone who knows what they are doing.
Doctors will prefer you to walk unaided even if it takes you longer. Being practical that isn't always possible or even desirable but for our own good we need to try.
I've been ill since Sept......I felt dreadful til Nov when my Gp said he thought it was FM. I read up on it and feeling sorry for myself didn't push myself.....and I deteriorated....I was diagnosed last week by the rheumatologist ...I'm trying to move more every day, it hurts like hell....and I don't push myself too far but I do push.
Getting back to crutches......I would only use them when you have to....not just for confidence....it won't be good in the long run.
:) :roll: :)
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crutches or not!

Postby poppy » Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:58 am

Buffyboo, i got ill in Sept too and was diagnosed beginning of Jan. Ive had really bad probs with long term use of crutches before and dont want to use them because of that. Problem is that I am really stuck as to where I can get to and have been so limited since Nov. I brought the subject up with my husband and said I want ed to go to shops in town and shopping centres and unfotrunately i cant drive my car door to door there! I said i may have to use one of the scooter things they hire out there and he has a real problem as he cant bear to think hus wife needs to use that. i am trying to say it enables me to live more normally and reassure him i am not going to 'give up' but its hard as he cant see my pain! Walking aids are a tricky subject as sometimes it comes down to staying at home all day everyday or living a more fulfilling life, with a balance between not making it worse! i have got muscle wastage since I got ill and the physio is helping me to stand properly as the muscle wastage has already caused more probs coz i walk in an awkward way it puts strain on my hip and knee. If only we had access to more help, I can only see my physio twice more then i cant afford it.
Im trying to negotiate the benefit maze, I will post elsewhere about that.
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Walking aids

Postby BuffyBoo » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:52 pm

Hi Poppy,
please don't think that I'm saying that nobody should use them at all. What I am saying, is that to use them without correct supervision would be like buying medication off the internet.....you think you need it and it may do some good but you're not fully aware of the side effects.
I'm all for people using scooters to get from shop to shop..... and to use crutches if they cannot walk without....but if you can walk ,then you should try and maintain your ability to walk...otherwise it progresses and you can be wheelchair bound. (BY YOU I MEAN ANYONE NOT JUST YOU) I worked with people who would have loved to walk, however much pain it gave them. One guy I cared for had several operations to straighten his leg, over several months and with great pain involved...and he'll be in pain everytime he stands up...but he wanted to be able to walk (with calipers) around the house.
I know what the pain is like.... I have it. I'm lucky that, currently, I am able to walk unaided....don't get me wrong, I have to stop every now and then to catch my breath and wait til the pain fades a bit....and if i needed them I'd use crutches...but only after they were assessed by a physio.
I'm sorry that you are having difficulties. Are you UK based?
I was diagnosed in Jan too....drop me a pm if you like and we can compare notes.
Keep smiling Poppy (please)
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Crutches

Postby LindaTreadwell » Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:37 am

Hi I have read what you have all said about walking aids and they are all valid points but I think it has to be down to the individual., I personally have always avoided them because I don't want to become dependant on them but also because I haven't got the strength in my arms, shoudlers and hands. I do understand anyone who does use them as my feet and legs get so painful. I just have to walk more slowly and use my car every where I go and keep taking a rest. If you have shopmobility in your town they rent out the scooters which I did consider but then when I suggested it to my other half got a bad reaction so decided against it. MY GP is of the opinion that you should avoid them if possible but then he can walk ok. I don't think anyone should feel embarrased - you wouldn't if you had a broken leg. take care
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Walking aids

Postby Suzyb » Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:54 pm

Well having read your posts about walking aids and crutches I felt that I should mention that I did used to use forearm crutches myself but rarely need to now unless I am having a bad flare up. I did find myself that walking too far on them would make my arms, shoulders, wrists and the muscle from my underarm to my breast very sore indeed. I now use a palm stick which is great. I do have days when I am really reliant on it even at home but at least it does not give me the pain in my hands that the ordinary hand round the top of the stick does. I am unable to drive my car most of the time now and its months since I last did and that was only a distance of 4 miles and not town driving. I bought a mobility scooter to help regain some independence nearly a year ago and its opened up my life again. I can now get out to town and get some retail therapy in. In large shops I ride it round and the smaller ones I park it outside and walk around with my stick. I like to think that it actually helps me to take more exercise and indeed have used it to get to a local gym that I joined and did some exercises at that I must admit were painful. I will go again when the warmer weather comes. I would say that you should use whatever you are most comfortable with but never give up hope that you will be able to do without them one day and do as much as you can without them around the house. Oh by the way, I felt a right nana on the scooter to start with but now take no notice and in fact my hubby has put some saucy stickers on the front that always raises a smile in people that pass lol. Suzy
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scooter

Postby poppy » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:13 pm

suzyb,

can i ask whether you had to pay for your scooter privately? Was it expensive? Do you know if I could get any help to get one?
Sorry about all these questions!!!
x
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