Health experts often recommend getting in some exercise each and every day. But the type of cardio that is often suggested isn’t exactly possible for individuals who contend with mobility issues. This is especially true for wheelchair users. For those who spend the majorities of their days sitting, many exercises aren’t options. And for those who utilize wheelchairs for their mobility, it’s integral that they find comfort in ways many others don’t have to consider.
In what ways can you make your wheelchair as comfortable as possible?
Support your lumbar area.
Your lower back is known as the lumbar area. Generally, lumbar issues are the most prevalent when it comes to back pain. The single most common cause of lower back pain is a torn or pulled muscle and/or ligament. Therefore, supporting your lumbar area should be a top priority when you are seated in a wheelchair.
“If your lumbar is not properly supported, your entire back will feel like it’s giving out,” warns Timothy Snyder of Rollx Vans, “The simplest way to resolve this is to use a rolled up towel for support. However, depending on how much you are willing to spend, you can purchase an actual lumbar support seat or cushion attachment.”
Avoid wearing bulky clothing.
In some cases, the comfort provided to you by your wheelchair will have nothing to do with the wheelchair itself. What you are wearing while seated plays a large role in how comfortable you will be. Tiffiny Carlson understands this first-hand. The Minneapolis native has been using a wheelchair since enduring a C6 spinal cord injury from a diving accident at the age of 14. She insists that a “big no-no” when sitting in a wheelchair all day is wearing big, bulky clothing.
“Giant wool sweaters with belts that tie in the back, oversized hoods that hang too low, even extra thick coats or shirts; having too much fabric on or behind you can really through off your balance and comfort when sitting in a wheelchair,” Carlson informs us on TheMobilityResource.com, “If you are generally cold, your best bet is to try to find warm clothing made of thin fabric.”
Use cushioned armrests.
Sometimes, the discomfort felt by those who are seated is not in the back, but in the arms. Remember that wheelchair users aren’t always in motion, of course. In fact, like the rest of us, they spend large portions of their days in stationary positions. Where do their hands go? Sure, you can rest your hands in your lap. But cushioned armrests ensure that any relaxed position will always be a comfortable one.
“Plastic armrests? No thanks!” insists Snyder, “A little extra padding goes a long way when you are a full-time wheelchair user, especially if you also use your armrests to transfer into your handicap accessible vehicle or to reposition yourself throughout the day.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we consider it very important that our wheelchairs provide their users with maximum comfort. We offer both manual and power wheelchairs of the highest quality. If you have any questions about them, please don’t hesitate to call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at [email protected]. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!