Despite all of the advancements in the wheelchair industry, comfort is still an issue, especially for full-time wheelchair users. Fortunately, small, simple changes can make a huge difference and provide all-day comfort for people with disabilities. Read on for six easy ways to make your wheelchair more comfortable!
- Lumbar Support: Your lumbar area — the lower part of your back that curves inward — is crucial when it comes to comfort in your wheelchair. If your lumbar is not properly supported, your entire back will feel like it’s giving out. 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.
- Lateral Side Supports: Lateral side supports are a great accessory to add to your wheelchair, especially if you have balance issues from bad torso control. 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.
- Cushioned Armrests: Plastic armrests? No thanks! 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.
- Recline the Backrest a Few Degrees: If you’re looking for more of a “slight adjustment”, consider reclining your backrest a few degrees. 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.
- Adjust the Footrests: Believe it or not, your footrest plays a big role in your level of comfort. The main thing to remember is to keep your knees slightly higher than your hips. If they are too high, however, your backside will be forced into the back corner of your seat, which causes tension and pain in your back. Look for a wheelchair that has adjustable foot rests. If you already own a wheelchair that does not have adjustable foot rests, consider taking it to a wheelchair repair shop to have the changes made.
- Cross your Legs: Oftentimes a simple body movement can make all the difference when it comes to a person’s comfort. Many wheelchair users agree that crossing your legs is one of the most effective ways to relieve their back pain when sitting. This is because crossing your legs helps redirect the pressure of your body on your lower back. Just remember to switch your legs every couple of hours to avoid getting any pressure sores.
What are some things you do to make your wheelchair more comfortable? Please share your tips in a comment below!