Padding Crutches




How to use pipe insulation to make cushy padding for crutches

My husband is on crutches for the first time. His biggest complaint has been sore elbows from hitting himself with the back of the crutch. Padding seemed like it might help. Putting pipe insulation over the aluminum tubing spare the elbows and provides very cushy padding on the hand grips.

Update: Sadly the cushy aspect of the hand grips is temporary. The insulation permanently squishes in time... but it's nice for a while (a week?) and is easily replaced.

Step 1: Materials Needed

You will need:

One length of pipe insulation (available in hardware stores). It comes in lots of sizes. I used 3/8 inch thick... around a 1 inch hole.

Electrical tape.


Optional: 3M Vetrap (or sticks-to-itself stretchy athletic bandage)

Step 2:

Use the scissors to cut a length of insulation to fit the upper length of the crutch.

Step 3:

Split it open along the precut slit - I used my thumb

Step 4:

Put it on the crutch

Step 5:

Use electrical tape at both ends to secure it.

Step 6:

Cut a piece of insulation the length of the hand grips.

Step 7:

Split it open, and push it onto the hand grip. It won’t go all the way around. 

Step 8:

It seems to stay on OK without tape. But if you want to secure it and add texture, 3M Vetrap  works very well. 

Step 9: Finished Padded Crutches



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    4 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You might also try bumping the hand rests up one notch, your arms shouldn't be so stretched out that your elbows are locked way out and hit the bars. I have hyperextending elbows and while on crutches it was a problem, too, but not after I raised the handles! Nice 'ible.

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, VERY good to know!!  They didn't come with any directions.  Thank you for the advice! I'll pass this on immediately. 

    mole1your dog

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    That must work pretty well. I've see towels used on the hand grips more than once over the years.   Were you able to keep it on the verticals?