Tiffiny Carlson is a writer from Minneapolis. As explained on TheMobilityResource.com, “she has a C6 spinal cord injury from a diving accident when she was 14 years old.” With writing as one of her passions, Tiffiny regularly works to break stereotypes about those with disabilities.
She also advocates for wheelchair users to maximize their comfort. After all, as she notes, “the human body wasn’t meant to sit in a wheelchair all day, which must explain why it took so long for the wheelchair to finally get comfortable.”
Here are three ways for wheelchair users to maximize their comfort:
1. Make use of lateral side supports.
Also known as laterals, lateral thoracic supports or trunk stabilizers, lateral side supports are highly recommended to increase wheelchair comfort. These rectangular or square shaped devices can be mounted to the back posts of wheelchairs. They rest against the sides of wheelchair users. Laterals provide an almost hug-like comfort to increase the stability and balance of those seated in wheelchairs.
“Lateral side supports are a great accessory to add to your wheelchair, especially if you have balance issues from bad torso control,” says Timothy Snyder of Rollx Vans, “They jut out from the sides of your backrest and help support you if you lean too far left or right. This accessory can be essential when you are doing more difficult tasks because you will always be properly supported and balanced.”
2. Try crossing your legs.
Interestingly, some chiropractors are known for recommending against the crossing of legs. Their contention is that it can place unnecessary pressure on the back. However, for wheelchair users, crossing their legs can help to relieve pain.
“Sometimes a simple body movement can make all the difference and most wheelchair-users agree crossing your legs is one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain when sitting,” writes Carlson, “It’s the redirection of the pressure of your body on your lower back that helps. However, when crossing your legs, make sure to switch the legs every couple of hours so you don’t get any pressure sores.”
3. Recline the backrest a few degrees.
Travellers are well aware of how important reclining can be. When on a plane for a long flight, the reclining option of the seat makes it so that a restful sleep can be enjoyed. The same principle applies to wheelchair use. For wheelchair users who spend the majorities of their days seated, the ability to recline their backrests is practically a must. Naturally, it enables better rest while also maximizing comfort.
“If you’re looking for more of a ‘slight adjustment’, consider reclining your backrest a few degrees,” suggests Snyder, “Sitting too straight in your wheelchair may cause you to lean too far forward, which will have your fighting to keep your balance. Tilting back the backrest ever so slightly will make a huge difference in regards to your comfort.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, one of our top priorities is maximizing the comfort of our wheelchairs. We offer a wide variety of high quality manual wheelchairs and power wheelchairs. For more information about them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!