Arm Positioning Important for Wheelchair Users

Posted by Matt on 5/18/2015 to For Your Comfort

Over the years, there has been more awareness of the importance of wheelchair seating and positioning. Whereas just a decade or two ago, it was fairly common to be given a standard wheelchair of an arbitrary sort and expected to be happy with it, we know now that not paying careful attention to wheelchair seating can not only result in discomfort, but can also cause long-term problems, such as chronic pain and those infamous joint contractures.

Wheelchair seating is a must

Today, we'd like to take a look at an area of wheelchair seating we don't tend to think about, and that is arm positioning. Arm positioning is more important than it seems at first. Just because we are using a wheelchair primarily for mobility purposes related to not walking, think about it: A wheelchair user literally has to sit in a wheelchair for hours at a time, sometimes all day. If the arms are not positioned in a manner that ensures nerve protection, circulation and reduced pressure sore risk, the consequences can be major. This is even more so for our loved ones who experience loss of movement or paralysis.

Arm positioning is equally important

GelOvations Gel Armrest Pad


One of our products that is smart for arm positioning is the GelOvations Gel Armrest Pad. This is a 1.5-inch thick medical grade silicone pad with a washable neoprene nylon cover and a steady wooden and plastic base. The magic of the GelOvations Gel Armrest Pad is that it equally distributes weight along the arm, reducing red spots and pressure sores. This is a great alternative to the armrest that your loved one's chair may have come with, which may be made out of cheaper materials or with protruding metal.

Posey Deluxe Lateral Arm Support


An armrest configuration that would be ideal for people who have temporary or permanent loss of arm strength and movement is the Posey Deluxe Lateral Arm Support. This support is a plush, large and comfortable armrest more like the armrest on the side of a nice sofa. Its major health advantages are that it stabilizes hand posture and prevents leaning sideways.

This helps prevent postural changes that would result in the need for even more physical therapy down the line. This happens especially when a wheelchair user cannot hold up their hand and tend to let it "droop." Such hand drooping can result in near-permanent contractures if not prevented or reversed early enough.

Don't stay behind the times. Get on board with the importance proper wheelchair seating, and let your friends know!


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