Forearm Crutches Vs Underarm Crutches

What is the difference between forearm crutches and underarm crutches?

We are here with the review of underarm crutches vs forearm crutches which provides an appropriate distinction.

It is not an easy task to buy something in particular when there are many options available to choose from.

It gets worse when you are about to purchase something from the market for personal necessity.

Two specific types of crutches are mostly used – forearm/elbow crutches and underarm/axillary crutches.

Therefore, below ​you will know the important details about both types and can make a perfect choice comfortably.

Comparison Overview

SubjectForearm CrutchesUnderarm Crutches
Item WeightLight in Weight and PortableLittle Heavier in Comparison
Weight CapacityGood for Average PersonAlso Suitable for Heavy Person
Duration of UseSuitable for Long TermAlso Good for Short Term
Price RangeA Little Bit ExpensiveMost Are Usually Cheap
Side EffectsMay Be Pain in ElbowMay Be Pain in Armpits
Made byAluminum, Steel, and MetalAlso Available in Wooden
UsabilityEasy to UseMay Be Some Difficulties
CarryingEasy to TravelA Little Bit Tough
Parts ReplacementMost Are Built-inPads, Hand Grips, and Tips
Height RangeEasy to FitNeed to Pay Attention

Forearm Crutches

forearm crutches

Forearm/elbow/wrist crutches are shorter than its competitor here, underarm crutches.

These crutches contain specifically designed cuffs on the top portion of the supporting stick.

The cuff goes around the wrist or elbow or forearm of the user and provides sufficient support.

The cuffs distribute the weight of the body with uniformity to the arms.

The cuffs are reasonably inclined with the mainframe which helps with the physical stability to a great extent.

See also: Best Forearm Crutches.


  • Forearm crutches are lightweight and this is why they suit pretty well for maintaining body balance. Being lightweight, it comes with easy raise, effortless carriage, and greater portability.
  • With shorter construction, the crutches offer superior stiffness to distribute the body weight. This enables less pressure on the legs after surgery or minor accident.
  • The angular design of the attached cuffs helps the user to grab the frame with less effort. It reduces the stress on the arms keeping the wrist in the constant grab of the cuffs.
  • The frame allows easy and comfortable movement of the body with uniform support. It allows the patient to stand up and sit down with maximum safety.


  • The main drawback lies with the long-time or continuous use of the crutch pair. Successive stress on the wrist is likely to cause severe pain in the elbow, forearm, and arm joints.
  • As the weight is supported by the wrist, a soreness feeling for the beginners can occur in the arms after waking up the next morning.
  • Without proper height of the cuffs and the frame as per the patient, even a short-time use can cause bursitis in the hips to some extent.

Though these are lightweight, they require considerable arm strength for an adult.

Forearm crutches are mostly suitable for permanent disabilities as well as some short-term injuries depending on the patient or user’s physical condition and level of injury.

Maintaining a good body posture is possible with this maneuverable pair through some practice.

Almost the entire body weight is supported primarily by the arms, so sufficient arm strength will hold just fine.

Underarm Crutches

underarm crutches

Underarm/axillary crutches are the standard ones and refer to the most common type among all.

It should have a slightly lower height than the armpit and therefore, considerably longer than the forearm pair.

The supporting frame has two distant arms on the top portion which holds a soft pad over the supporting metal.

Here, the bodyweight gets distributed to the pads and keeps the lower part of the body supported in a comforting way.

See also: Best Underarm Crutches.


  • For a strong upper body, underarm crutches provide maximum convenience for quick movement. It enables the users to move most short-term disabilities.
  • Using forearm crutches requires no participation of the lower body. Therefore, it is highly recommended for lower-body injury rehabilitation.
  • This set comes with superior mobility through uniform distribution of body weight using the entire arm.
  • Being the basic crutch type, it is indeed the most budget-friendly type of all.
  • With a pad under the armpit, the user gets a soft space to impose the bodyweight comfortably.


  • As the crutch requires the full support of the upper body, it reduces the freedom of the upper portion to a great extent.
  • Continuous or long time walking using this crutch pair can provide severe pressure on the arms. This can give rise to undue strain on the hands.
  • Walking through an underarm crutch requires one leg to act first. Therefore, a great risk of losing body balance is more pronounced in this case.
  • Being a bit bulky and comparatively heavy, using underarm crutches is not suitable for permanent use.

Unlike the forearm pairs, it has a heavier weight with limited maneuverability.

Maintaining body posture is difficult as the entire arm is required to hold and move.

The set is well suited for various short-term injuries for all types of people.

There is no suitable alternative to these crutches for broken legs or better movement requirements for the lower body part.

It helps the individual to walk independently with smoothness and less effort.

The most important thing about having an underarm crutch pair is to check and confirm its supporting height and weight capacity.


Crutches can deliver the perfect aid to your leg injury or rehabilitation if you get the right one.

This is why choosing the right pair regarding your disability is of utmost importance.

With the right pair, you can have a normal movement with safety without any strain on the body.

But having the wrong one will cause immense suffering to your life.

No doubt, it comes with a long-term negative effect on your physical ability and movement.

When you are about to have a crutch to support the body, consult a professional physiotherapist.

Here we tried to give a clearer distinction with the important details for both crutch types.

We believe going through the aforementioned forearm crutches vs underarm crutches review will help you to choose the right one easily.


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