Guidelines for Safer Seating Posture in Wheelchair
Most wheelchair users spend the better part of the day in their wheelchair seats. This is a considerably long time to spend seated. That is the reason why you should keep a good posture every time. A good posture will enhance your safety and decrease the chances of you getting further injuries from complications arising from your wrong seating postures. The following guidelines will help you improve your seating posture.
Relaxed Feet Position
Achieving this can be done naturally if you know how to position your feet in the preferred position. And how do you do that? You start by tilting and reclining the wheelchair slightly. For effectiveness, remove the leg rests and place a cushion or leg rest under your feet. And that is not all: The harm strings should be relaxed.
You should ensure that you sit far back into the chair as much as possible. And once you have a handle on that, then lean forward and check the position from above. While you are at it, check the pressure distribution of the buttocks with your hand by comparing backrest with seating. For the best results do not let the upper side of your calf touch the seat cushion. Leave at least a 2-3cm space.
The Seat Width
The width should be as narrow as possible without allowing direct pressure. Your caregiver should check whether both your upper pelvic edges are level. Once the adjustments have been done, the armrest sides should just touch your buttock side at Trochanter area.
The Position of Feet and Foot Rest
The position of your feet will greatly influence your position. Ensure it is naturally positioned so that your pelvis is in a natural position. But more important than that, ensure your harm string is not tight. Tight harm strings will pull the pelvis into a backwards position. Your therapist will help you do this.
Position of Your Thighs
Your thighs should rest in a position that will keep your legs as straight as possible. Here is how to do it, ensure the thighs are parallel and straight and facing forward. The harm strings should be relaxed. Do not forget the knees, they carry most of the pressure adjust the width of the leg rests to avoid pressure.
Seat Angle and Cushion
The cushion is a wheelchair accessory that can make you either comfortable or very uncomfortable depending o how it has been positioned. Your therapist should ensure that you have a seat cushion that fits your chair and offers you all the back support and while at it relieving all the pressure points. A large contact between the seat and your back is ideal for good posture.
Your ears and eyes should be parallel with the floor and the backrest should fully support you. You do not want to slide out of your wheelchair; you can avoid this by keeping your backrest position as upright as possible.
Posture is important for everybody. Just like everyone else, you should ensure you keep a good posture in your wheelchair it will not only ensure your comfort as you sit in your wheelchair seat but it will also save you from developing further complications. Your therapist will be of great help with this, but it all starts with you.