Crutches and osteoarthritis in lower limbs.

The initial medical advice was exercise and that crutches were unnecessary. However, length of time standing and walking increased pain in knees, hip, leg muscles so I shall approach NHS again about advice on crutches. I do not believe the physio mantram "no gain without pain" but feel the pain is in someway proportional to inflammation that the inflammatory products are as much the cause of cartilage degradation as the "wear and tear" explanation that all GPs give. So how much use of osteoarthritic joints is damaging and how much is therapeutic?

After 3+ years GPs have offered sick lines, Cocodomol, and physiotherapy consultation and nothing else.


  • phoenixoxo
    phoenixoxo Member Posts: 625

    Hi jooms,

    Good luck with approaching the NHS about crutches. I'm sorry I can't answer your question about damaging vs therapeutic use of osteoarthritic joints, as I've never received a clear answer about that myself, unfortunately (I have two types of arthritis, OA and PsA). I think most of us could benefit from hydrotherapy, but this seems difficult to access for a lot of people (due to funding, inconvenient location, etc.). I hope someone's able to pass on advice they've received.

    Best wishes,


    PsA (psoriatic arthritis) and other things since 1990. Happy to help when I can :-)
  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    You don't need to wait for the medics to say you need crutches, if you feel they would help you get some! My baby sister was struggling with the OA in her right knee so I gave her an old pair of mine which helped her get through a particularly painful period until she got her made to measure knee brace, she now on;y uses them when she feels she needs to. (She needs a TKR but she has 7 years to wait as they won't do it until she is 65.) An OT advised me to start using them years ago and now they are used around the house and a wheelchair elsewhere. I get mine on-line as they are more comfortable than the NHS variants.

  • Airwave!
    Airwave! Member Posts: 2,456

    Exercise for us arthers should not be painful or taxing and a certain amount can be weight free. We need a some amount of weight in an exercise to ensure healthy bones and that our joint supporting soft tissues are up to the job, loose joints equals more wear and tear.

    You may find that walking with aids does push you into a unusual stance that makes other joints hurt, you need medical advice. I can’t use a walking stick because they hurt my hands and wrists. The lightweight upright sticks with suspension in them help though.

    Out local gym won’t even let me into their gym, as soon as they hear my problems they back off raise their hands and refuse to talk even, fat lot of good is their strap line, ‘exercise for all’!

  • jooms
    jooms Member Posts: 39

    Thanks for replies.

    Pain is deterrent to exercising and, indeed, movement and even standing.

    I have been given a Zimmer frame from friend for in house.

    10 months waiting for hip joint replacement but probably further delayed with this viral pandemic.

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520

    Medical advice is all well and good but you are the one living with your reality. I used crutches for years, for balance and stability, and to help me walk better. I now walk without them thanks to hard work with exercise but I do need a rollator when out and about as that helps me go further and do more. It also warns others that I am not as agile as I could be.

    I was initially given NHS crutches after a very large open synovectomy op on my left knee but thereafter bought my own. That way I got better handles to suit my creaky fingers and wrists. I have PsA in all my toes and boths knees plus OA in both ankles, both knees and both hips. I exercise daily and have done for years, yes it hurts but I know that by keeping my leg muscles stronger and more flexible I am doing my best to better support my lousy joints. DD

    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben