Back pain is a common side-effect many wheelchair users are forced to live with. While we’ve previously gone over regular wheelchair injuries and how you can avoid them, we haven’t discussed what specifically causes these injuries.
The culprit? More often than not, wheelchairs that aren’t designed with your back in mind, forcing you to sit for prolonged periods of time with less than ideal back support.
Let’s take a look at why certain wheelchairs lead to regular back pain and an alternative that will provide you with more comfort for daily use.
The seating system of a wheelchair has the most direct impact on a user's back. The backrest of a wheelchair aligns a user’s spine and posture in one certain angle, and far too often this angle can lead to unnecessary pain.
A study published in BioMedical Engineering Online took a look at four different postures common to wheelchair users, including “relaxed slouching, flat back support, prominent lumbar support, and backward thoracic support.” The study then had participants randomly compare the four different chairs.
Here is an image from the study results which shows the four chairs and subsequent postures:
The top two configurations are what you see most often in standard wheelchairs, and unsurprisingly, were by far the least preferred chairs according to the study.
The lumbar and thoracic support chairs fared much better, on the other hand, with the study noting that innovative back support systems significantly cut down on stress applied to the subjects’ spinal cords, creating a much more comfortable sitting environment.
So, what did we learn from this study? That traditional, Walgreens-bought wheelchairs do no favors for your back, causing pain and forcing you to sit in uncomfortable positions.
You need a chair that is built with your comfort in mind.
Our Strongback Wheelchair has been designed specifically to meet the contours of your spine, providing support and stress relief where you need it most. With a curved back and improved seat angle, the Strongback helps reinforce proper posture to prevent slouching, resulting in healthier discs, a stronger back and long-lasting comfort.
Don’t waste your time with wheelchairs that fail to put your comfort first. Your back will thank you.