Tips To Using The Crutches Safely – Part II

6 April 2020

In the previous post, we looked at the proper way of fitting your crutches and how to ambulate safely with the crutches. Here, we will teach you how to walk up and down the stairs safely using your crutches.

Walking Up The Stairs


When using stairs remember: “Up with the good, down with the bad”.

If there is no handrail

  1. Use both crutches and lead with the good leg.
  2. Stand close to the step and with your weight on the crutches, step up with the good leg.
  3. Once your weight is on the good leg, bring the crutches up to the same step , followed by your weaker leg.
  4. Check your balance before you proceed to the next step.

If there is a handrail,

  1. Use the handrail for support.
  2. Hold both crutches in one hand, hold the handrail with the other, and with all your weight through your arms, bring the good leg up one step.
  3. Next bring them up to that step, followed by the weaker leg.
  4. Check you balance before you proceed to the next step.

Walking Down The Stairs

  1. Start at the edge of the step, keeping your hips beneath you.
  2. Place your crutches on the step below, your weaker leg should immediately follow them to the step below. (Remember: “down with the bad”)
  3. Be sure to bend at the hips and knees to prevent leaning too far forward.
  4. Finally, step down with the good leg.
  5. Check your balance before you continue.

If there is a handrail, simply hold both crutches on one side and use the handrail for support.

Safety Considerations When Using Crutches

  • Ensure they are in good working condition, e.g rubber tips.
  • Always wear proper non-slip footwear. Avoid socks and floppy slippers.
  • Remove any loose rugs or obstacles from your path that can potentially trip you over.
  • Always check with your doctor or physiotherapist on the type of walking aid that might work best for you.