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Side Effects of Using Crutches

People with mobility disabilities frequently utilize crutches and may wonder whether there are any side effects of using crutches. As a result of an injury or medical condition, crutches can be a lifesaver. They can be of immense help when you are recovering from an injury.

So, what are the side effects of using crutches? Crutches cause itchy skin as a primary side effect. If you use a crutch that is not the correct size, it may cause significant shoulder pain. Frequent use of crutches can also lead to lower body atrophy and artery damage.

Common Side Effects of Using Crutches

1. Irritated Skin

Using crutches can sometimes cause skin irritation due to rubbing and chafing. Underarm skin can get irritated due to the constant pressure of axillary crutches. 

Underarm discomfort is a common consequence of this irritation. In addition to underarm irritations, those who rely on crutches are also likely to develop blisters on their hands. 

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Blisters can develop on your fingers if you use them a lot to hold crutches. Additionally, if you hold a crutch without gloves, blisters may occur.

2. Shoulder & Muscles Pain

An incorrectly sized crutch can cause considerable shoulder pain. It is possible for a patient using crutches excessively high to experience nerve and muscle inflammation. 

A patient might also suffer from armpit bruising. Besides, muscles will ache over time if you use crutches regularly. Misusing crutches can also result in muscle pain for a long time.

Along with muscles, your joints can also go through severe pain when using a crutch, negatively affecting your overall life. However, it is possible to treat muscle pain associated with incorrect crutch use.

3. Lower Body Atrophy & Artery Damage

Lower body atrophy and artery damage are other side effects if you frequently use crutches. When using crutches, the lower body transfers a substantial amount of weight to the upper body, which causes patients to become passive. 

As a result of not putting weight on the muscles for an extended period, the muscles atrophy. The weakening of muscles leads to their becoming inflexible and fatigued.

Crutches help you heal your lower-body injury but at the same time weaken your leg muscles. Even though you can’t completely rid yourself of crutch-related complications, there are things you can do to improve.

By taking advantage of some basic everyday reduction techniques, you can minimize side effects. Moreover, heavier body weight makes the usage of weight-bearing crutches more challenging, resulting in artery damage. 

A rise in arterial pressure occurs due to the heavy bodyweight. Consequently, aneurysms occur when excessive pressure occurs due to the overall weight. As a result, you’ll need delicate surgery or sufficient amputation.

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4. Soreness

Using crutches can also cause soreness, which is similar to skin irritation. The only difference is that soreness is a result of untreated skin irritation.

By taking care of the saddles while using crutches, you can eliminate soreness. It is also possible to experience soreness and pain in the ribs when misusing crutches.


Your crutches may serve as a temporary solution for helping you move around. The crutches, however, have a critical role in performing during rehabilitation.

However, apart from using crutches to overcome your mobility-related issues, you should also consider how you can reduce the side effects associated with crutches to the greatest degree possible. 

In conclusion, it is essential to choose your crutches carefully before getting them. If you choose the right one, you will be able to complete the recovery process relatively quickly. 

Even though crutches can cause several problems, adjusting posture and regular exercising can help significantly. Exercises, alongside stretching, will reduce side effects, and using crutches appropriately can ensure their effectiveness.

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