Because of their limited mobility and sensation, wheelchair users are at risk for tissue injuries. We've known for decades that pressure and shear are clear culprits in these injuries, but continued research is determining that higher skin surface temperature and moisture are also contributing factors and management of this climate is also critical in healthy skin promotion.
Posted on 4/29/2020
Wheelchair cushions are designed to address specific seating goals. Each design principle has specific clinical benefits and considerations. Therefore, understanding the design of a wheelchair cushion is critical in achieving the desired benefits to the wheelchair user. This article explains the various design principles that are used in wheelchair cushions and the clinical application that should be considered when choosing a cushion.
Posted on 4/16/2020
Although cushions may look similar in design on the outside, the materials used on the inside can have a significant impact on their performance. Understanding how materials perform will improve the clinician's ability to select a cushion based on their client's goals. This article describes materials, their benefits, and the clinical considerations when selecting the most appropriate wheelchair cushion.
Posted on 4/13/2020
Why is this cushion made like this and is it right for my client? Wheelchair cushions are created using scientific properties to address the needs of wheelchair users. Understanding these properties will help the clinician select a cushion based on the desired effect that they are trying to achieve. This resource explains the technology used in cushions and the clinical application that should be considered when choosing a cushion. Examples of cushions which demonstrate these properties are also provided, however all cushions use these properties and are key to making your cushion selection.
Posted on 4/7/2020
When recommending a seating system, one should consider the shape of the seating system and how the shape of the cushion or back will impact the individual's positioning. The spine and pelvis can be supported by more than five different shapes and, if not fitted correctly, will create postural instability. The pelvis and lower extremities can be supported by more than four different shapes that will affect stability. It is important to consider these shapes when accommodating or correcting orthopedic asymmetries. The seating shape may also determine the method of pressure distribution. Lastly, the shape may affect the overall comfort of the individual sitting in the seating system.
Posted on 7/26/2019
Clinical Assessment Goals:
- Identify posture/orthopedic asymmetries at each body segment.
- Is asymmetry reducible or non-reducible?
- Measure angles in frontal, sagittal, and transverse plane.
- Absolute angles measure angles between a line connecting 2 points of reference on the body and a neutral/plumb line.
- Angles which have moved clockwise from neutral axis are (-).
- Angles which have moved counter-clockwise from neutral axis are (+).
Posted on 5/16/2019
It is important for the clinician to properly assess and document angular body measures and angular support surface measures when evaluating a client for seating and wheeled mobility equipment. As referenced in Clinical Application Guide to Standardized Wheelchair Seating Measures of the Body and Seating Support Surfaces, Revised Edition (Waugh & Crane, 2013), angular measurements can be measured in relative and absolute angles. It is important to utilize the angular body measures when recommending support surface measures.
Posted on 2/15/2019
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