It is very important to have good posture when seated in a wheelchair. Doing so reduces unnecessary stress on your body. It also maintains your comfort, reduces risk due to injury or because of pressure risks, and improves the movability of the wheelchair.
When you are in correct posture, each part of your body will be in the right position in comparison to the rest, from your head all the way to your toes. Every part on your body influences the next part; therefore, it is important to make sure the wheelchair fits well and maintains a good posture for your whole body.
Let’s look at 5 tips which will help you maintain good wheelchair posture support.
Support Your Feet
Since your feet support a part of your total weight and also adds more stability to your pelvis, they should be well supported. When your feet are not well supported it can pull your body out of alignment.
Make sure that the position of your footplates and the height of them are correct. When they are at the right place, your hips and knees should be at right angles. When they are too far out in front, it will cause your pelvis to tilt resulting in slouching, and when tucked too far back it will push the pelvis the other way, alternating the curves of your back.
Stabilize Your Pelvis
Your pelvis is the center of a good position for your body. Therefore, you have to start out by making sure your wheelchair can support and stabilize your pelvis. First thing you have to do is check the size of the seat.
With a correct depth, you will be able to sit all the way back and maintain a weight spread out between your buttocks and thighs.
Support Your Arms
The position of your arms can pull or push your shoulders down or up. This affects the upper curves of the spine as well as the head position. Make sure that the armrests of your wheelchair are the right height for supporting your arms. This will contribute to correct shoulder levels and maintenance of the right curve of the neck.
Stabilize The “S” Curves of Your Spine
The spine has 3 natural curves. These provide a stable position for the back. Abnormal positions can occur if these curves are not supported properly. Other side effects are discomfort and maybe damage in the long run.
If you cannot sit upright or ensure that you are not slumping, or leaning to the side, then your wheelchair might not be providing you with the proper posture support.
Make sure that the height and width of the back of your chair is correct. These support the lower curve of the back.
Centralize Your Head
The correct posture for your head is that it should be upright, be in the middle, and it should have enough stability in order for you to look in different directions. If your head tilts backwards or forwards or to the side, it will pull your spine out of alignment, causing discomfort.
Should your head not be able to keep steady after other parts of your body are stable, you may need more support for your head and neck.
These tips will help you make sure your wheelchair provides good posture support, from your head all the way to your feet.