People are curious to know how a wheelchair that is rigid outperforms a folding chair. Is there really a noticeable distinction, and what does it mean for you?
Living with a disability is all too common today. In fact, approximately 650 million people, or around 10% of the world’s population, are affected. Every year, 2 million people in the United States become new wheelchair users, and approximately 3.6 million of those over 15 years old use a wheelchair.
There are various reasons people use a wheelchair. It can be due to lower back injuries or because they have limited mobility. Whatever the reason behind, using a wheelchair that is rigid will allow you to maintain an active lifestyle without adding restrictions to accessibility.
What Are Wheelchairs That Are Rigid?
A wheelchair that is rigid is perfect for you if you need something affordable yet lightweight. One of the most common types of wheelchairs, this type of physical therapy device is favored by most wheelchair users. It’s no wonder they prefer it – not only does it provide easy maneuverability, but it can also help in performing mobility tasks.
Individuals with physical disabilities frequently use these devices. They are typically among the first equipment people use following a slipped disc injury, spinal cord impairment, or other spinal-related condition.
The rigid design of wheelchairs makes them extremely valuable. Generally made out of metal or carbon fiber, these devices have frames that are sturdy and durable – allowing you to:
- Maintain an upright posture while moving around.
- Be safe and stable while maneuvering
- Reduce the risk of tipping over
- Push and maneuver with little effort
The frame’s ergonomic design allows the user to move around and complete daily tasks efficiently. They are available in numerous seating configurations, including reclining functionalities, height adjustment options, and seats with or without armrests.
A wheelchair that is rigid can help you complete particular mobility activities and tasks without problems. Transferring from a wheelchair to the bed is simpler since you can propel yourself without much effort.
This type of wheelchair can assist people with limited strength in the upper body. They can also aid users who have trouble switching positions or moving around.
How To Choose the Right Rigid Wheelchair
Most rigid chair models come with brakes on the wheels since they are intended to be used indoors and outdoors. They are designed to give a stable support base for users – sustaining their body weight without yielding to the pressure. They are ideal for transporting and carrying around since they are more sturdy than their folding counterparts.
The following are the key points to consider when selecting a wheelchair:
- Seating: You can choose between a wheelchair that has a standard seat or one that comes with a height-adjustable seat or a contoured seat feature. You should always consider the most comfortable position for you and check if the wheelchair can provide that comfort level. The chair should be appropriate for your body weight, size, and needs.
- Frame material: The materials used typically for rigid chair frames include aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium – affecting the wheelchair’s weight, rigidity, strength, durability, and cost. Metal is more durable than carbon fiber due to its weight, but the latter is lighter.
- Hand controls: You should check if the wheelchair’s hand controls are easy to understand as you will constantly use them to maneuver the chair using your hands or arms. It should be adaptable for people with limited hand strength and upper body dexterity.
- Tracking capability: A good tracking system can enable you to move straight while easily avoiding obstacles.
- Wheels: They should be reliable and capable of handling whatever terrain you intend to use them on.
- Seat height and width: The seat’s height should provide comfort as well as easy transfer without fear of toppling over, while the width should be large enough to accommodate your hips.
- Accessories: Additional features you can include are cup holders, padded seats, footplates, armrests, and storage compartments.
Achieve Better Performance with a Rigid Chair
Now you have a better grasp of the factors to consider when selecting a wheelchair. It’s as simple as matching your body size, weight, and injury type with a rigid wheelchair loaded with valuable features. After you’ve decided on one, you can go about your daily life and even resume your active lifestyle.