Comments Off on Comparing The IWalk, Ergobaum, And Freedom Crutch
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Being injured is crummy, and wearing a cast, frame, or bandage around your foot and/or ankle makes you feel like an invalid. Then you get crutches and are mobile, but they can cause pain of their own.
For example, the part under your armpits is padded but it still digs in and bruises the surrounding area. Your hands pressing down feel sore and some people report having to wear cycling or gardening gloves in order to prevent blisters or provide some padding. The wrists ache after being bent at an uncomfortable angle for too long. You have to hold your foot up and bend your knee slightly all the time which means activating muscles all the way up your leg for long periods of time.
They get stronger, but that’s not the way you want to go about improving leg strength. Ultimately, this posture causes pain and secondary injuries. Both hands are occupied so you can’t do anything for yourself, at least not without a great deal of difficulty.
What is the Answer?
Innovators, some of the previous injury sufferers or healthcare workers, have come up with a solution: provide consumers something to rest the knee on. You will only have to use one crutch if the balance is right. Some systems are all-in-one and others are accessories meant for attaching to a standard crutch. There are some criteria one must meet before considering such a device, but these tools come as a relief to many injured individuals around the country. Three such items are the iWalk, Freedom Crutch, and the Ergobaum.
One must be able to bend at the knee to a 90° angle so the injury will affect nothing as high as the knee. Very tall or very short people plus extremely heavy individuals might have to modify their search. Generally, all of the following products have provided relief to numerous individuals who can expect to be using crutches for several weeks or months. All of them present pros and cons, so lots compare them. Also, the makers of these tools insist they are not suitable for people with other mobility issues beyond an isolated injury. Your balance should be pretty good and active individuals seem to be drawn to these tools.
This is a crutch for people from 5 feet tall to 6’4″ which is a considerable height range and also a wide range of potential weights. You can use it if you are right- or left-handed by making adjustments which require no tools. It is a user-friendly system which has gone through some adjustments since it was first released.
With the iWalk, an injured person is able to rest the knee above an injured area and still walk if he or she can first establish correct balance. People become very excited about the iWalk because it allows them to release one hand and do more things for themselves. The one down-side to such an excellent product is that it costs far too much for what it is: more than $100 pricier than the Ergobaum which we will review next. Is $330 too much to pay? That’s a lot of money for something you hope to use for 6 to 8 weeks, maybe three months at the most, especially with some strong competition. At least you can sell it on and get some of your money back though.
Read Our iWalk Review (based on my brother-in-law’s experience) Post HERE.
Buy the iWalk on Amazon.com HERE!
I’m not sure what makes this so much cheaper than an iWalk when it seems to be even more innovative with so many safety features as designed by an orthopedic surgeon. The knee rest is there, adjustable within a similar range as above but slightly taller people can also use it comfortably.
There is also an elbow rest to allow one to take more weight off around the hand and armpit. In addition to mobility benefits and pain reduction, there are practical features for people who don’t want to stay in at night just because of a sprain, a break, or post-surgical healing.
There is a light, reflectors, and you can also let out a blast on the horn to make sure drivers see you when you cross a road or parking lot. Additionally, the makers installed springs into the tips in order to provide shock absorption that makes for an even more comfortable ride.
At around $200 it isn’t cheap, but more affordable than the iWalk. That said, there have been some noise-related issues with the spring-loaded tips, but not for everyone. Generally, ratings are good. The Ergobaum might need to go back to the drawing board if only to fix the squeaking problem.
Read our Ergobaum review HERE.
Buy the Ergobaum by Ergoactives on Amazon.com HERE!
At the hospital, many people walk away with a pair of medical-supply crutches that have been used by many individuals and worn out. The armpit rests aren’t as soft as they used to be. Tips don’t absorb a lot of impact; the rubber needs to be replaced. Meanwhile, there are all of those issues of strain and pain mentioned above whether your crutches are old or new.
You can leave one of the pair at your medical supply shop and just wear one with the Freedom Crutch. This accessory is screwed onto the crutch at the right angle for your knee to rest on it. You don’t have to buy a whole new crutch; just this $60 accessory. Some consumers have complained about the cost, and big people don’t find it very good value for money.
It is great, however, for someone with a tight budget or who thought he would be on crutches for a short time and had to extend his use of them, but doesn’t want to pay for an upgrade to the Ergobaum or iWalk after all this time. The knee rest is adjustable and lightly padded; maybe too lightly padded. Consider wearing pants that cover your knee when you use this device.
Consumers over 6 feet tall and 250 lbs will potentially bend the frame of the Freedom Crutch and others have complained about sharp metal pieces. Obviously, the Freedom Crutch needs to go through some tweaking, but it’s a revelation to people of average weight and height and has given many people relief from crutch-related suffering.
Read our Freedom Crutch review HERE!
Buy the Freedom Crutch on Amazon.com HERE!