Why it’s important for crutches not to touch your armpits

We talk to people every day who are searching for a solution to the pain from using crutches. While we are always fielding these questions, it feels important to share the reason why your underarms hurt with regular crutches, and the reason you should avoid them.

Axillary Nerves

When you rest on your underarms, you are compressing the axillary nerve (which you can see in the image below). This compression doesn’t sound that bad, but if it happens over a long term, it can cause permanent nerve damage and potential paralysis or loss of movement or feeling in the arm.

The axillary nerve shown in the shoulder joint and along the arm

Even short term crutch users can experience crutch palsy, the arm paralysis resulting from compression of the axillary nerves. The tingling or numbness you might feel in your arms when you are using regular crutches is a sign that you are compressing your nerves and you need to stop.

To learn more about the downsides of pressing into your axillary nerves, read here: http://www.healthline.com/health/axillary-nerve-dysfunction#overview1

We designed Better Walk Crutches to make sure that you could get the support you need against your body without pressing into the axillary nerves. Regardless of whether you use our crutches, a knee scooter, or forearm crutches, it’s important that you avoid using crutches that push into your axillary nerves and underarm area. Your arms will thank you for it!