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Comfort and Support for Your Wheelchair

Posted on: June 20th, 2012 by LAMedicalBlogger

Wheelchairs or power chairs may be a necessity of life for some of us, and while most of them now are made with a degree of comfort built in, the padding or seat shape wears down over time. This can create more pressure on our lower backs, as well as contact bruises or sores. However, one way to improve the comfort of your wheelchair or power chair and the support that it gives your back is to invest in a wheelchair seat cushion.

Most cushions are made with a foam or gel interior or are inflated with air to distribute your weight evenly across the seat to prevent bruises and sores, provide greater comfort and lessen seating fatigue.  Here are the benefits/drawbacks of each type of cushion and what they are best suited for:

  • Foam cushionsbest for those wanting a simple, low-cost option. Its main benefits are that it is inexpensive, provides a very stable seating surface, low maintenance and is light weight for easy transport. However, foam cushions don’t provide much in the way of pressure relief or positioning.
  • Gel cushions using a gel pack to “immerse” pressure points, gel cushions provide ideal pressure relief, are very stable and are most often contoured for better positioning. They are heavier, however, and also more expensive.
  • Air cushionsthe big benefit with air cushions is that since they are adjustable by simply adding or letting out air, the firmness of the cushion can be easily changed for ideal comfort. Like gel cushions they also provide great pressure relief. On the other hand, air cushions are high maintenance because of the risks for leaks. They are also a more expensive option.

Because they are used daily, cushions have a life span of two to three years and should be replaced in that time to prevent back or leg injuries. Also, matching the size of the cushion to the wheelchair size is crucial to avoid movement or slippage of the cushion that negates the benefits it provides. These benefits can result in a healthier body and more positive outlook o life in a wheelchair.  Come to LA Medical Retail for a wheelchair cushion today!

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