This is what the girl suggested to me... Anyone have opinions?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 1/19/2009 2:02 PM (GMT -7)   
So, on this other site I have joined, there is a forum specifically for teens/young adults... I thought I would ask THEM about mobility aids, if any of them used any, and how they have worked for them. Because of my balance trouble, the one girl suggested me to not use a cane (which makes sense, DUH JENNA! rolleyes ) but she suggested for me to maybe use forearm crutches (she said to make sure I get them with a FULL cuff instead of the half, and to get padding in them also). Does ANYONE here have any experiences with forearm crutches?? Does my height and weight have anything to do with being able to use these? I am 5'4" and about 130 lbs.
I just want some feedback before I speak to my doctor about them.. personal experiences maybe?
Thank you all!
Jenna :-)
21 years old
Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, Irrational fears

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 1/19/2009 2:39 PM (GMT -7)   

Jc, I have never tried them myself.  But my experience has been that moving yourself about using the strength of your arms can tire out your arms and cause your back and shoulders to ache.  Can you rent some and try them out for a few days and see if they work for you?

I saw a lady in Washington that had the coolest contraption.  It was a scooter of sorts - she put one knee on a little platform about knee height it and pushed herself around with her other foot. It had handles to hang on to and maybe brakes like on bicycle handle bars.  I was thinking to use that and change sides periodically.  Could you use something like this with your balance issues?


Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 1/19/2009 5:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if crutches would help, as Sue said, they really do a number on your arms and upper back.

Maybe one of those canes with four little legs on the bottom might help more. My friend uses one for balance.

I needed some walking support for a few weeks so I used a walking staff. It looked like a wizard's staff, it even had a small crystal ball on top. My ego wouldn't let me use a cane. It helped my balance but it sounds like you need more help than that.

Has your doctor suggested any way to improve your balance? Mine recommended yoga and it has helped tremendously. There are also classes specifically to help you improve your balance. They are usually for older people but they may help you.

You need something to help you now but I'd hate to see someone so young stuck with this problem. Hopefully you can find something that will help you improve your balance over time so you won't need assistance forever.

Could meds be making your balance problem worse? Sometimes side affects don't show up right away. I was on a med for 6 months before it started making me dizzy. I am always surprised by how often meds are overlooked.

Good Luck.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 263
   Posted 1/19/2009 6:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I haven't tried crutches, but I agree they'd probably cause your arms to hurt and put a strain on your back and neck!

I've used a cane when my balance is off, and it helped a lot. Explaining it to people was another story...
I have Fibromyalgia, and nothing else!
I take Lyrica 225 mg/day and Tramadol (150mg time-released)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 376
   Posted 1/19/2009 6:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Guess it depends on how much support you need. But just to put all the options out there, outdoor stores like REI sell telescoping canes and walking sticks. You could collapse the canes and put them in a backpack if you didn't need them.

I've considered these kinds of canes several times when I've had back muscle sprains and couldn't even stand up straight.

Oh yeah .... wizard staff has a cool factor that I like.
Lyme, anxitey, depression, chronic C. Pnuemoniae
"... expect the unexpected ..."  (O. Wilde)
"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened." (Mark Twain)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 1/19/2009 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
hi jenna,

i don't personally have experience with forearm crutches. however, my father, who is a parapalegic, has used them to walk for almost 10 years now. although they do enable him to walk, (he can't stand or walk at all without them), they have caused him serious carpal tunnel/shoulder pain and damage. he now has to have physical therapy 3x a week to combat these issues. granted, he is using his arms to do almost 100% of the work of walking. in your case, since you do have the use of your legs, you might not have such extreme issues from using them.

also, i don't know about the height/weight factor-i don't think it matters at all, but i can ask my dad for sure.
love and hugs

fibromyalgia, ibs, gerd, anxiety

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.~Carlos Castaneda

I wish you all the joy that you can wish.~William Shakespeare

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 1/20/2009 2:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Okay, thank you everyone... I will discuss it further with my doctor.. and Dagger, I am not on any meds.
21 years old
Fibromyalgia, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, Irrational fears
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