Why Is It Important To Get A Wheelchair Cushion?
Many wheelchair users love their wheelchairs for the independence and freedom it provides. However, without a suitable wheelchair cushion to ensure comfort, it can quite literally turn into a sore point. The right wheelchair cushion should enable you to sit comfortably for hours and not cause pressure sores, which can even require hip and/or thigh operations if not treated timely! Below, we share why it is important to get a wheelchair cushion.
Understanding Pressure Sores
Also known as bedsores and pressure ulcers, bedridden individuals and wheelchair users are particularly prone to pressure sores. Why is this so? The seating position wheelchair users are in most of the day can put a lot of pressure on certain areas of the body, namely the spine, hips and thighs. A pressure sore is defined as damage to the skin and its underlying tissues, usually occurring around a bony prominence. They tend to develop over time where an individual is positioned in a manner that puts pressure on a specific body part.
Symptoms of Pressure Sores
Below are some early symptoms of pressure sores to watch out for:
- Discolored patches of skin
- Discolored patches not becoming white when you press on them
- Patches of skin that feels spongy or hard
- Irritated or itchy skin
In more severe cases, a blister or wound may be present. If that is the case, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately.
How Wheelchair Cushions Can Help
Are you experiencing discomfort from sitting in your wheelchair all day long? If so, do you already have a wheelchair cushion? Maybe your current one does not appropriately suit your needs. Below are some reasons wheelchair cushions can help in preventing pressure sores and keeping the user comfortable:
- Provide pelvic stability where the pelvis is not rotated forwards or backwards. This creates stability in the spine, enabling several physiological functions to take place normally and the wheelchair user to use their arms without losing balance.
- Shear management, where the material of the cushion shifts with body movements, dispersing the pressure exerted on certain body parts.
- Envelopment of bony areas, spreading pressure across different body parts and ensuring that bony prominences do not bear the brunt of pressure.
Factors to Consider When Choosing A Wheelchair Cushion
The kind of cushion you will need can differ based on your condition and the features of your wheelchair. These are:
- Shape and material of the cushion
- The cushion’s weight, especially if your wheelchair is light
- Required level of maintenance, such as whether it needs to be inflated
- Climate – this can affect the effectiveness of the cushion depending on the materials used
Get Wheelchair Cushions from Patient Solutions
Do you or a loved one require an effective wheelchair cushion to maintain a comfortable posture and prevent pressure sores? If you have any questions about our products or would like a recommendation, please feel free to contact us.