There are Different Types of Seat Cushions for Individual Needs
If people in wheelchairs need a little more comfort, they can opt for different types of wheelchair cushions according to their needs. There are problems that can arise if wheelchair cushions are not used such as back pain (especially without proper lumbar support) and pressure sores when sitting for long periods of time.
It’s important for you to identify the problems that you are experiencing when it comes to choosing the perfect wheelchair cushion for your needs.
Oftentimes, the option with the lowest cost are foam cushions, which are lightweight and stable, and still able to provide that much-needed comfort. The most common disadvantage to foam as a material, however, is how quickly it can lose its shape so that’s one factor that you will need to consider.
Foam cushions work for patients who aren’t limited to a wheelchair all day, and transfer enough to relieve pressure. In short, they’re not recommended for heavy, long term use.
Gel cushions have improved pressure distribution, all while keeping you cooler. One advantage of gel cushions is that they will conform to the shape of the user’s body. This prevents pressure sores and protects delicate skin. Additionally, patients can also use gel cushions with a foam base. It is considerably heavier and will also need maintenance to keep the gel in shape.
They’re best for patients looking to prevent muscle atrophy or those who are experiencing it, as gel cushions provide the support they need.
Air cushions are lightweight and add extra portability, especially for patients in wheelchairs who travel a lot. It’s also easy to adjust the firmness of air cushions. They can be prone to leaking, however, and will require checking from time to time.
Air cushions are great for those who’ve had past issues with pressure-related sores and ulcers.
If you need a cushion to keep you cool, then a honeycomb cushion is your best pick. Honeycomb cushions are also lightweight and won’t add any extra weight to your wheelchair. Pressure distribution can be an issue, which affects where the cushion is positioned.
Honeycomb cushions are great for patients who have varying health requirements so it’s a perfect overall cushion choice, especially if positioning or weight distribution aren’t major concerns.
Worried about pressure distribution? Alternating pressure cushions automatically adjust to prevent sores and work best for those who have trouble adapting to their position in a wheelchair. They’re battery-powered, and they need to be recharged. This also means that they are considerably more expensive than most.
For those experiencing pressure sores and overall pain and discomfort, alternating pressure cushions are a great choice for you if price is not an issue.
Comfort is definitely one of your foremost concerns when you utilize a wheelchair. Cushions can make all the difference in reducing pressure sores and other wheelchair-related conditions. Be sure to find a cushion that works for you considering your special, individual needs, especially if you’re traveling long distances. It’s a good idea to consult with your physician, physical therapist, or other care providers when looking for options.
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