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Proper way to operate and use a knee walker

Knee scooters also are known as knee walkers or platform walkers and are rapidly becoming substitutes for crutches, canes as well as regular walkers. Scooters will make you move easily, faster while offering stability and safety. To use a knee scooter, you will have to lock the brakes, hold the handlebars, place your injured leg on the seat cushion for rest, release the brakes and then start propelling the scooter with your good leg to move forward or backward.

What is a knee scooter and how does it look like?

It is normally referred to as a knee walker.

How does it look like?

This is a non-motorized device with 3-4 wheels, a resting platform for your injured knee as well as handlebars. It is designed in such a way that it allows the user to use his/her uninjured leg to propel the scooter forward or backward. It offers a non-weight rest advantage to the injured leg. This lets the user steer the scooter and go anywhere he/she wants while the injured leg is resting.

Scooters are found in different options offering different colors and designs for your preference. Besides you can personalize your scooter with different accessories such as baskets, knee rest cushion, cup holders and bells. It is also possible that you can purchase scooters that come in a standard simple design.

Uses of a knee scooter

Knee scooters are designed for people who are facing mobility problems such people may have had foot, ankle or leg injury or surgery. In this situation, a person will find it hard to walk and he/she will need a mobility aid to do that. The common devices that people use are crutches but these are hard to maneuver and many people would prefer using scooters.

The advantage of using a knee scooter

It enables the user to move without facing pain and discomfort as compared to crutches. When you are using crutches you will need most of your upper body muscles to move while preventing your injured leg from bearing weight.

Besides knee scooters allow the user to be hands-free as you can stand, cook, rest your injured leg and do different sorts of activities.

Step by step on how to open and use a knee scooter

You will be able to determine how to use the knee scooter while you in a standing position. The injured leg should rest comfortably upon the seat pad. The uninjured leg should remain straight on the floor while the injured leg keeps resting in the middle of the seat pad.

The handlebars should be kept in a straight right angle so that they can be easily reached and used. Besides you can adjust their height to correspond with yours. This can be done by locating the knob that is at the top of the handlebar tube, remove it and then set the right height that corresponds with you. After that, place the knob back in place then tighten it.

You will have to adjust the seat of the knee walker by locating the seat adjustment lever which is located under the seat itself. Hold onto the seat front to raise or lower the height of the seat. You can flip the lever below the seat also you can loosen it whenever needed. To do that, you will have to remove the safety pin which is located under the seat too. After making all these changes, make sure that you double-check to see if the knobs and seat are tightened to be sure that everything is rigid and secure.

When you are done with assembling your knee scooter and you are sure that it is secure to use, you should take your time and read the user’s manual to learn how to operate it. This will help in preventing you from mistakes that may lead to future injuries. Besides, it will prolong the life of your knee scooter if you use it as directed by the manufacturer.

Before you start turning around your knee scooter, make sure that your uninjured foot, your injured knee as well as your hips are leveled and straightened together with your lower back.

To propel your knee scooter, you will have to use your uninjured leg thus preventing extra injuries and pain to the other injured foot. If it is your first time to use a knee scooter, it might take some time for you to get used to it. Make sure that whenever there is an obstacle in front of you apply the brakes to prevent an accident.

Once you are used to it then you can go on and ride outdoors. The more you use your knee scooter, the more you get used to it thus feeling more comfortable riding and maneuvering it.

When can I use a knee scooter?

If you have mobility issues due to permanent or temporary foot or ankle injury, or in case you are recovering from surgery then it might be the best time to get a knee scooter.

The following is the list of situation that might lead you to use a knee scooter

If you are recovering from an ankle injury or fracture

Before you have an ankle surgery

If you are recovering from ankle surgery

If you are recovering from a torn tendon

While recovering from foot ulcers or wound

If you have a permanent dislocation of an ankle or leg

If you are a senior and you have mobility issues due to ankle pain, back pain, discomfort or stiffness

Who should not use a knee scooter?

If you had a knee or hip surgery as the device is designed specifically for a lower-body injury. If you think you need one after a knee or hip surgery, then you should consult your doctor.

If you are injured in both feet or ankles. The knee scooter needs one of the legs to be good to propel the scooter forward.

If you have poor balance, vision, and coordination. A scooter needs someone who can coordinate balance as well as steer the scooter safely.

If you are drunk or under the influence of drugs. Anything that alters your safety ability then you should not use a scooter as you may end up getting an accident.

Covering the costs of the knee scooter

Normally the Medicare plan will cover the cost of renting or buying a knee scooter, but this needs a physician’s prescription. When you need getting a knee scooter you will have to consult with your doctor, your insurance company as well as the device supply company to make sure that all the information and the required documents are available to prevent any problem that might arise.

List of things to consider when you are choosing a knee scooter

Overall Ease

Weight capacity

Body strength

Weather Resistance

Everyday Applications

Comfortable Convenience

Limitation to what you always do

Mobility

Where will you use it?

A standard scooter will work better for people who only need a mobility aid that will help them to get around especially within their homes. These are designed with small sizes and frames with wheels that have small radii which make them suitable to maneuver around corners inside the house.

For people who would like to experience the adventure outdoors through gravel or dirt terrains then an all-terrain scooter model is the best option for them. This has large wheels with many treads that help it move freely on rough surfaces.

Pediatric scooters are mainly designed for people who are short with the height of 5”5, where normally this is the normal height for children as well as short adults.

We advise you to consult your doctor before you decide to buy or rent any scooter as he/she will help you with information that is crucial when making a decision.

Where can you buy a knee scooter?

First of all, you will have to know your options and you will have to find a knee scooter that fits your needs. You must first talk to your physician or doctor.

The following is a list of suppliers

CSA Medical Supply has scooters that range from $140 to $400.

Vive Health you can access this online store by visiting them, there are different varieties of scooters as well as other medical equipment. These include cup holders, knee pads and baskets for your knee scooter. Besides, you will be able to get more helpful information as well as compare different types and varieties of scooters before you make your decision.

Amazon is an online store that offers a variety of knee scooter options together with their accessories.

Important tips for safe usage of a knee scooter

Falling is the biggest safety concern when using a knee scooter. Falls might lead to severe injury as well as death. The following tips will help you to use your knee scooter safely:

Make sure that the seat platform is adjusted to match your height.

Make sure that the knobs, pins, nuts, clamps, and holders are carefully fitted and tightened before you use your scooter.

Never try to descend or climb stairs while using your scooter as it is very dangerous you can end up falling and breaking your bones.

Never try to reach down or to the side while propelling your scooter as this may result in a fall.

Do your best to keep all the wheels in contact with the ground while maintaining balance at the center.

Never stop the scooter with handbrakes. Always use your good leg to stop the scooter and apply the brakes to put the scooter into a stationary position.

Make sure that all your hands are upon the handlebars while the scooter is in motion. In case you want to carry anything, just keep it in the basket that is attached to your scooter.

Never carry a baby or a partner while you are using a scooter.

Make sure that you are wearing non-slip shoes when using a scooter.

Never try making sharp turns as they are very dangerous and can lead to falls.

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Answered: How To Use A Knee scooter

A knee walker or wheelchair

You have seen or heard people saying that knee scooters are fast, stable and have tight turning circles. But you might be asking yourself how do you operate one? The answer is just simple as operating a scooter is no different than operating any scooter you had seen or used while you were still a kid. You rest your injured leg on a seat pad while using the injured leg to propel it forward. It has a drum or loop braking mechanism that enables fast braking and therefore you do not have to use your feet for braking. But you must know how to use it properly to prevent more injuries as well as prolong its lifespan.

How does a Knee walker look like?

This is no different from a knee scooter. There are different types and models on the market. But the standard and basic knee walker design consist of two wheels or three wheels or four wheels. This is can be called knee cruiser, knee caddy, knee walker or orthopedic scooter.

The design keeps changing over time as it started from small-wheeled designs purposely for indoor cruising and it evolved to tough orthopedic scooters with large wheels that can reach to12 inches for outdoor cruising. From my experience, the bigger the scooter’s wheels in diameter the easier to ride.

How do you operate a knee walker?

In this post, we will be discussing how to get the right posture, speed, balance as well as stability. Besides we will discuss the type of surfaces that are good for a knee scooter. A lot of people can scoot well for the first 15 minutes, as scooting is not so difficult.

Can I use a knee walker to climb upstairs?

This is among the questions that are commonly asked. The fact is that it is not advisable to do that as it is very dangerous as it can lead you to lose balance, slip, and fall leading to severe injuries that can lead to bone fracture or death.

It is very hard to maneuver a scooter when moving up or downstairs. You cannot control your scooter and balance it at the same time when walking upon the stairs.

You can learn how to use a knee scooter on stairs but this can be applied only on wide stairs if you want to use it on shallow stairs make sure that the stairs do not exceed 2-3 in number.

Body posture is essential when learning to use a knee scooter

The best knee scooter that will suit you is the one that you can adjust its height, with large wheels and a large seat that can support you comfortably when you are standing.

Adjusting the height of the handlebar

All manufacturers install adjustable bars on their scooters that are easy to slide up or down relatively corresponding with your height. The knee platform should also be adjustable and some brands offer this on their scooters. In case you are very tall or too short, this is essential as it will help you adjust your scooter for comfortability.

Make sure that you read the manufacturer’s manual to know how far can a stem be raised or lowered. It will be a wastage of money and time if you have a height of 6″4″ and buy a scooter that is meant for people who are 5″6″.

Sliding the handlebars

The handlebars must be in a proper height position to prevent you from experiencing sore back and neck as well as straining your shoulders as you scoot. You have to slide the handlebar up or down adjusting its position to a height that makes you feel comfortable.

Put your elbows in a flexed position

To find the idle position, you have to place your knee upon the pad and then loosen the adjustment knob to let the handles slide easily. Then you will have to hold the handlebars and stand up straight. This will let your elbows be at their most comfortable position when flexed with a bit of bending at the elbow.

Never lock your elbows

Locking them has a tendency of putting strains on both of your arms, upper back, and shoulders.

Adjust your knee wheelchair’s seat

Below the knee scooter’s seat, there is a lever or knob that can be used to adjust the height. This can be used to raise or lower the height of the seat by holding on the seat sides tight and then adjusting it up or down. When done you can tighten the lever or screw as this depends on the type and model of the scooter. Some of the levers are installed with safety pins to hold them in place. This means that you will have to remove the pins before you can adjust the seats.

Check to see if the lever is secure and tight once you are done.

The knee pad size and width

Your knee pad must be large. This will enable it to support your leg more comfortably without having to stress yourself to keep it in position. Make sure to check for these features before you purchase your knee scooter as the cheaper versions might not include this feature.

Types of Knee scooters pads

There are mainly two types of knee scooter pads. There are those with flat surfaces and those with a channel. It depends on your personal preference when making your choice. From my personal experience, the channel type works better as it keeps the injured knee still as it helps to keep your leg in place preventing it from sliding off which is essential in reducing pain.

Flat pads

These have flat surfaces and may often lead the leg to slip. The advantage of this is that it is easy to clean.

When you are learning to properly use your knee scooter, your knee is in a better position when the injured leg is resting comfortably in the middle of the seat pad. Your uninjured leg rests firmly on the ground surface or floor.

Before you purchase a knee scooter there are all sorts of knee scooters that you can test to find one that suits you.

All types of seats offer padding levels. The size of the seat that you need will depend on the level and type of injury or surgery as well as pain sensitivity. Everyone has his/her unique needs.

How to adjust your knee scooter for comfortability?

In case you traveling for quite a long distance your injured leg might feel pain and things might get worse when you move over rough surfaces. But there are three options that will help you in making your knee scooter more comfortable as discussed below;

Handle grips

Most of the handle grips are soft, but your scooter might have ridged, hard plastic, non-ergonomically shaped, etc handle grips. With these kind offhand grips, you will need to change them into softer grips. Neoprene foam tubes, gel grips or soft-touch rubber grips are available in many stores and these can slip over the existing grips.

Sheepskin seat covers

You can make your knee scooter more comfortable by adding a thick cushy sheepskin cover over the existing seat cushion. The thick soft pile helps in reducing chafing, cushions over painful jarring while reducing the leg slipping effect. These covers can be found in real and fake sheepskin.

Memory foam knee pad covers

You can also opt for a memory foam which is also a good option. Normally they are found in 2-inches thick. These provide extra comfort factor that reduces jarring as well as discomfort while you scoot around. You will have to buy the thickest memory foam for ultimate comfort. These slip over the existing seat just like the sheepskin.

How to use you’re a moving knee scooter?

There is a variety of knee scooters on the market. What is important is to find the one that suits your needs. This guide will help you to know how you can use your scooter properly as well as how you can maintain it.

The first thing is to make sure that your uninjured foot, the knee of your injured foot as well as your hips are aligned in the same position with your lower back. To move forward, you will have to propel yourself using your uninjured foot. This will prevent your injured foot from experiencing pain and further injury.

Balancing on a moving knee walker

To balance well on the knee scooter, you first have to lock the brakes to make sure that you are in a stable position to prevent falling. Then you will have to place your injured knee upon the seat platform and level your body.

Once you feel comfortable, you can now release the brakes and use your uninjured leg to propel the scooter by pushing it forward. During a turn or in case you want to slow down just engage the brakes by pushing the handlebar so that the scooter slows a bit down.

Knee scooters travel so fast and are very easy to move around corners, through doors as well as objects.

Benefits of using the best knee scooter

When you use the best knee scooter, you will not need using crutches.

Crutches are rare these days as they are uncomfortable and can cause further injury. Crutches can make you trip so easily and they can lead to soring of your armpits. This is because crutches depend on your upper body muscles to maneuver them. This makes it difficult and sometimes totally impossible for people who are suffering from health issues such as arthritis to use crutches. Sometimes crutches can lead you to lose balance especially when walking over slippery surfaces such as on icy pavements.

A knee scooter will enable you to reach for higher things such as things stored in cupboards, wall mounts and shelves. You can reach them and hold them with both hands. This is impossible when using crutches. Besides some scooters come with a basket option that will enable you to put your items such as iPad, groceries, and other things inside it for easy carrying. This will leave your hands free for maneuvering and steering your scooter.

Best surfaces that are suitable for learning how to use your knee scooter

Hard surfaces are the best surfaces that you can start with when practicing. Make sure that the surface is free from pebbles, sticks, bumps or any other kinds of stuff that might cause you any problem. Most of the knee walkers on the market will work well on all surfaces. Some of the knee scooters are far better from others. This can be determined by just looking at the size of the wheels’ diameter, the bigger the radius and diameter the better for outdoor rolling. Wide wheels also are good at absorbing shocks as well as bumps.

You must read the user’s manual or you can read the model description online about the features and capacity of the scooter. Some of the knee scooters can work both indoors and outdoors while others are just meant to be used indoors and will not work well when used out.

Knee scooters for sale

There are a lot of local stores and online stores such as Amazon where you can buy any kind of a knee scooter. Knee scooters do not cost a big ransom as their price ranges from $100 to $400 depending on the size as well as the features that come along. The price might go higher than that if you want extra components to be installed such as sheepskin cushions, gel handles, etc.

It will be to your advantage if you make your research and know the features, benefits, and limitations of each model before you decide to buy one. Not all knee scooters will full fill your needs, as some will be comfortable than others.

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How to Make Your Knee Scooter More Comfortable: Four Key Adjustments

You might experience some issues when using a knee scooter especially if it is your first time. Some people face problems such as hitting their ankles on the wheel of their scooters something that can lead to extra injuries and make them feel uncomfortable. The solution to this is to adjust the position of the knee pad and that will eventually solve the problem.

In case you had a surgery or a recent injury to your lower body parts such as an ankle or foot that means you do not want to put pressure on your ankle or foot. This makes a knee scooter a convenient device that will help you keep walking while preventing you from adding pressure to your lower injured part. The knee scooter will allow you to rest your injured ankle or leg on a cushioned pad while propelling your knee scooter.

To use well your scooter, it must be adjusted relative to your height and other unique dimensions. If a knee scooter is improperly fitted it can cause a lot of pain and discomfort to your leg, knee, and ankle.

The following are the major four adjustments that can be made to make a scooter more comfortable:

Ensure that the knee platform is set to a correct height

This is where an injured leg rests and should not experience any stress during the healing process. Incorrect configuration of this platform will lead to extra or underweight pressure upon your healthy leg. This may cause you to feel back pain, knee pain and cause you to use extra effort in pushing the scooter forward. Just like how you adjust the height of your bicycle when you are standing still while your uninjured leg is placed upon the platform, it must be a bit bent. In case your uninjured leg is fully straight or in case your heel is not firmly stepping on the ground, that means the height of the platform is so high and has to be adjusted by lowering it. In case the knee of your uninjured leg is extremely bent that means the knee platform is extremely low and has to be adjusted by raising it otherwise your uninjured leg will experience too much pressure.

Ensure that the handlebar’s height is set correctly

Your handlebar should be relatively set to the level of your waist for your hands to be in a better position. This means that the hips will be even, as a result, the injured leg will be set at a 90-degree angle which will make you feel more comfortable. In case the handlebar is extremely low, it will force you to bend your back, as a result, your hips will be set to uneven alignment. This will make your back and hip to experience pain and discomfort. If the scooter handler is extremely high, it will cause you a problem as you will not be able to support yourself effectively as your hands will easily get tired.

Adjust offset

Many models of knee scooters allow changes that help you to adjust it to the right or left depending on which leg is injured. Setting the knee platform toward your uninjured leg helps in improving your stability while propelling the scooter. Besides, it will prevent your uninjured leg and ankles from getting into contact with the scooter’s wheels. Most of the scooter users like placing their injured legs in the middle of the platform. This is not advisable as it adds more pressure upon your uninjured leg. The best thing to do is placing your injured leg at the edge of the platform near your uninjured leg.

Adjust the knee pads

Once you have set the height of the knee platform, then it is time to adjust the width of the knee pad if your scooter comes with that option. Some of the knee walkers can adjust the pads closer or apart. This is a good option as it considers the position of the bandages or cast by placing the pad in the best position that makes you feel comfortable.

When your knee scooter is adjusted properly, your hips will be aligned and that will enable you to stand comfortably while your good leg is flat upon the ground. You will be in a normal upright position just as if you are standing on two good legs. Besides a properly adjusted knee scooter will allow you to take pressure away from the injured leg which is essential for recovery.

In case you buy your knee walker from BarbeerDME, all the adjustments to fit your body dimensions will be made on spot. Contact us if you need any help in adjusting your knee scooter or for any further questions and inquiries.

check our listing for all knee walker scooter rental near you.

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Important information about getting or replacing your hospital bed

In case you are thinking of replacing your normal bed or loved one’s bed with a hospital bed, there are some of the pros and cons that come along with using a hospital bed at home. It is important to understand all the information regarding the things that you should put into consideration before you decide to get one.

Why would one need a hospital bed?

Some patients have different health issues that need a special bed. Some elderly people would experience back sores when they spend a lot of time in normal beds due to weight pressure. Some patients slip and fall from their normal beds and this can lead to injuries that may cause deaths. Some also will experience breathing problems due to wrong sleeping positions and need to be tilted to particular positions and angles.

All these have several solutions but the best solution is to get a hospital bed that is designed in such a way that it offers solutions to all the above problems. A hospital bed is a solution to a patient who faces trouble while getting in and out of the bed as its height can be adjusted by lowering and raising it. This will prevent slipping and sliding. Besides hospital beds have bed rails on both sides that prevent the patient sleeping on the bed from falling. These rails can be raised or lowered when the patient wants to get off the bed. The head or upper body can also be raised or lowered depending on what the patient is doing. Besides the bed is on wheels that means it can be pushed and moved around the room to different positions.

If you need the bed to stay in a particular position the wheels can be locked preventing the bed from moving. People who are facing difficulties in sitting can have a trapeze bar put in a hanging position so that they would hold on to lift and position themselves. Besides there also trapeze stands that a patient can use to transfer him/herself into a standing position.

A Semi-electric Bed

This bed bends at the waist and knees helping the patient in positioning his/her upper body as well as the knees. You can easily adjust the bed’s height using a manual crank that is located under the bed. It has a pendant button that is used to adjust the upper body as well as the knees position.

A Full-electric Bed

This kind of bed can make all the adjustments found in a semi-electric bed but also unlike the semi-electric bed which its height is manually adjusted, this uses a push of a button. This makes it easy for caregivers as compared to a manual bed.

Mattresses

There are different types and varieties of mattresses available for hospital beds. Normally these mattresses have high-density foam with durable vinyl covers. Besides the mattresses are made to be anti-static, antibacterial, waterproof and acid resistant making them easy to use and care.

The bariatric mattresses are designed to be used by people with up to 500 pounds. These can be found in different sizes while some are extra wide. There some hospital mattresses with special springs inside. There are also gel mattresses overlays that cover the mattress surface and increase the comfortability to the patient.

Disadvantages of a Hospital Bed

Some people may not feel comfortable having a hospital look in their rooms. But there are varieties of colors as well as designs available on the market. Most of the modern beds do not need a large area as they are designed to cover just a small portion of the room. Most of the available hospital beds have a size of a twin bed, but they should be space left for the caregiver and the patient to be able to move around the bed. The bariatric beds are wider and longer than other types of beds with a dimension of 43 or 48 inches in width.

Semi and full-electric beds need to have access to grounded electrical outlets. You must find a good area and let the bed stay there without moving it around and make sure that the wheels are locked. In case you are using a manual bed, the caregiver should use the crank to adjust the bed into positions that will make the patient feel comfortable. This could be somehow difficult for caregivers who have back and knee issues.

Where Can You Rent or Purchase Hospital Beds?

You can rent or purchase hospital beds online or in local stores. Besides you can have one through your Medicare plan. But you must have your doctor’s prescription from your physician stating that it is a necessary device that should be used at home for your recovery. Medicare will cover the cost if only you buy or rent your bed from their suppliers and if your doctor or supplier is not on their list, then Medicare will not pay for the claim submitted to them. Make sure that you ask your supplier if he/she is enrolled in Medicare.

Does Your Loved One Need A Hospital Bed At Home?

In case you have an elderly person or someone who he/she is returning home after going through surgery then a hospital bed can be an essential health item to have at home. He/she might find it difficult to use a standard bed safely when positioning, sleeping, or transferring to the bed. This can be solved by letting him/her use a hospital bed which can offer a safer and comfortable sleep. Also, it will help to make the work of the caregiver easy, as the bed can easily be positioned, moved, raised and lowered, unlike the standard bed. It is better to consider the situation of your patient and look upon his/her needs and how helpful a hospital bed can be in solving the problems that he/she is facing. Besides, it will ease the patient’s pain and prevent him/her from other health issues that may arise due to spending too much time in bed such as poor blood circulation, sores, back and neck pains, etc.,

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How to choose your wheelchair: Folding Vs Rigid Frames

Manual wheelchairs are of different varieties and designs which include rigid and folding frames. Yet these frames differ in the way that they are designed, constructed and the way they function. This makes each design unique and you will have to be careful when deciding to rent or purchase one.

To make the right decision and choose what is right for you, there are several factors that you must consider. These include:

  • The type of material used in fabricating the frame of the wheelchair.
  • The design and type of wheelchair frame that you are choosing.
  • What are the components included in the wheelchair and if they can or cannot be separated from the frame? This is essential when it comes to weight and size for storage and transportation.
  • Types of adjustments that you can make to fit your needs such as posture, comfortability as well as efficiency when it comes to better propulsion. 

 Frame material

This will determine the wheelchair strength, durability, and weight. Durability depends on the ratio of the frame material strength to the ratio of the weight. A wheelchair will be durable if the material used to design and construct the frame has a higher strength ratio over the weight ratio. Below is a summary of the variations, pros, and cons of different materials to consider when making your decision.

Titanium

This material has a higher strength to weight ratio as compared to aluminium and that means it requires less material when constructing the frame. With titanium, it is easy to create a lighter frame. Besides, it has high fatigue life and this makes it hard to bend or get damaged. Also, it is resistant to corrosion, unlike aluminium that requires an additional coating to protect it. Apart from that, it has been discovered that titanium has a dampening effect which helps to reduce vibration when propelling. Studies are still being made to confirm this.

Aluminium

It is a metal that is economical and easy to fabricate. The 7000 series aluminum has proven to be much stronger as compared to the earlier versions as less material is needed to fabricate and hence weight is reduced. The negative side of it is that there are higher chances of structural damage to the frame in case it is exposed to strains. This depends on the shape and design of the frame as some are constructed with support tubes while others are designed in a cantilever style.

Carbon Fibre

Recently carbon fiber has been introduced in the manufacturing of manual wheelchairs. This material is very light, stiff and corrosion-resistant. The downside of it is that it is expensive and hard to shape. Besides, it has poor impact-resistant where it can be damaged easily. This makes it be used only on some components to reduce the overall weight of the wheelchair.

The style and components used to make the wheelchair frame will determine the weight of the wheelchair as the base can only cover less than a pound. Even if the frame is not made from titanium the wheelchair must still be lighter.

Weight consideration in your decision making

You have two decisions when considering weight:

  1. The overall weight of the wheelchair,
  2. The lifting weight that involves the total frame and other components’ weight as well as the seat cushion and the back support.

When the overall weight is reduced it makes it easy for the user to propel the wheelchair. Besides, it helps to improve the durability and efficiency of the frame. Remember that during the manufacturing process a wheelchair can start with a lightweight frame and end up installing heavy wheelchair system components such as wheels, seat cushions, braking systems, etc.

It is also possible to have a heavy wheelchair that is well configured allowing the wheel propulsion to require less energy making it efficient and easy to propel. You have to be careful when making a comparison of the wheelchairs’ weights especially when the wheelchairs are from different manufacturers as the base weights are weighed differently depending on which components are installed or not.

Folding Frames Vs Rigid Frames

  1. Folding manual wheelchair: Normally this has always been regarded as a cross-brace design as the frame folds by half making the sides of the wheelchair slide coming together. Recently there has been a scissor-brace frame design on wheelchairs such as the Kuschall Champion brand design that gives the user the ability to fold and unfold the wheelchair from either side.

The cross-brace frame is designed in such a way that it involves many moving parts that allow the chair to fold. This adds weight to the frame although this has been improved. You can find them in both materials such as aluminium, titanium and carbon fiber. Initial designs comprised of only footplates which were able to flip up out to allow stand transfers. The design was improved and swing-away leg rests as well as removable arms got included. This made the wheelchairs lighter as some of the components were left out. Some of the wheelchairs come with quick-release axles that help to reduce the transfer weight as well as the size making the chair fit in small vehicles. There is a new version of the scissor-brace that folds by pulling in the release system from the front of the wheelchair. This makes it possible for the user to reach and fold it easily.

  • Rigid Manual Wheelchairs

The design concept for developing this wheelchair came from sports wheelchairs. Initially, the frame was made out of aluminium but later titanium started to be used as well as carbon fiber. Aluminium is mostly used in sports wheels as it makes the user use less energy while in propulsion. This design has few moving parts and this makes the wheelchair base lighter. The advantage of this chair being light is that each push makes the chair move further with less energy.

Frame Styles

There are two main types of rigid manual wheelchair frames. The first is designed into a monotube which is a single continuous tube that leaves the lower side of the chair open. This makes it easy to bring closer and across the body when you want to transport your wheelchair by a vehicle. Besides less tubing, it leads to a drop in the weight of the frame. Using titanium to design a frame creates a flex which is good for a soft ride but it requires the user to use extra energy for a push. Some people prefer a soft ride because it makes them feel more comfortable so they do not mind using extra effort for the push.

The second design of a rigid frame is designed in a form of a box where it is designed in such a way that it has added support tube that helps in adding rigidity below the frame, as a result, there is less loss of energy. This makes the chair have more space meaning that it is wider or deeper below thus taking up extra space over the body when being transferred into the vehicle. The advantage of this kind of frame is that it offers more stability as well as efficiency in propulsion.

Fixed front ends

Normally rigid frames have fixed front ends and this means that they never move out of the way for standing transfers. If you would like to have one of these then look for the one that has a single side flip-up footplate which opens the front area of the wheelchair when making a transfer. You should try the frame and see how it works before you decide to buy it. And when it comes to folding frames quick-release axles will enable you to easily remove the wheels.

Fixed and adjustable frames

Rigid frames are found into two categories which are fixed and adjustable frames. If you are using a chair and you already know your exact measurements of the frame as well as the angles, you can order a custom made wheelchair that cannot be adjusted as it will come with the measurements that suit you. If you are not sure of your exact body measurements, then an adjustable frame will be better for you.

Configuration of your wheelchair

If you are fit enough to propel your chair whether it is a manual or rigid frame, remember that one of the important things is the proper wheel alignment. This must be assessed by a professional or by the OT/PT. Proper wheel alignment is essential in protecting your shoulders and wrist as well as providing energy efficiency push-stroke. The wheels must be aligned with the shoulders and fingers to easily reach the axle.

This is normally based on the ability to balance the wheelchair depending on trippiness and it also depends on your skills and ability to manage the wheelchair with its wheels in a more forward alignment. For newly injured people should start practicing with the wheels further back until they have gained their strength, skills as well as trunk balance.

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Answered: how to open and close a wheelchair?

opening or closing your wheelchair when you are in the hospital or rehab seems tough especially if you have never used a wheelchair before. But you can ask your physical therapist to help you in opening or closing your wheelchair. He/she can help you if you need to transfer your wheelchair too.

A wheelchair is a device that helps people who have mobility issues to move from one place to another. These people may have had surgery, injuries or might be suffering from illness. In case you have a spinal injury, stroke you might experience paralysis which will lead to a weakness that will make you need a wheelchair for your mobility aid.

Types of Wheelchairs

A wheelchair has four wheels and a seat that is attached to the frame. The back wheels are usually bigger having rims that you can use to push the chair forward or backward as well as make turns. There are several varieties of wheelchairs that include electrical and non-electrical (manual) wheelchairs.

Electrical wheelchairs are those that can be propelled with a motor. You can maneuver a manual wheelchair using a joystick or remote control. Normally electric wheelchairs are usually heavy as they are installed with different components such as a motor, power battery, etc.

Manual wheelchairs are the common wheelchairs that can be moved at a push of your hand by turning the rims that are attached to the back wheels. Or an assistant can help to push the wheelchair by holding the handles that are on the back of the wheelchair. Normally manual wheelchairs are easily folded to allow easy storage and transportation.

The wheelchair has several moving parts that make folding and unfolding a challenging task. But you can still fold and unfold a wheelchair by following these instructions as most of the wheelchairs are alike and we do hope that these steps will work on most of them.

Opening Your Wheelchair

  1. Make sure that your wheelchair is on a flat solid surface.
  2. Check to see if the brakes are locked as you wouldn’t want your wheelchair to move away from you once you open it. Each wheelchair has a lever that enables the user to lock the wheels.
  3. Hold the seat of your wheelchair with one hand in the front while the other hand holds the back.
  4. Push the seat down to the center of the seat and this will cause the sides and wheels of your wheelchair to slide apart from each other.
  5. Keep pushing the seat all the way down until it is fully opened.
  6. When done, you can now use your wheelchair but you will have to recheck the brake lock in order to be sure that the brakes are locked before you sit on it.

Closing Your Wheelchair

  1. Check to be sure that the brakes are locked
  2. Hold the seat of the wheelchair with one hand at the front while the other at the back.
  3. Slowly pull the seat up and the seat will fold in half causing the wheels to move closer to each other.
  4. Fully raise the seat in the center and thus the wheelchair will be fully folded up and ready for storage or transportation.

In case you still have any questions or problems when it comes to opening or closing your wheelchair, then you can contact your physical therapist.

Conclusion

A manual wheelchair has many unfamiliar parts that can make the folding and unfolding process seem difficult. It is normal when you have no experience and you have never done the process before. But by following the above steps you will be able to safely fold and unfold your wheelchair for safe storage and transportation.

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frequently asked questions about knee scooters and walkers

Many patients ask a lot of questions about our knee scooters. This means that people are interested in compact mobility scooters than just having to depend on crutches. Below are the most commonly asked questions with answers regarding our knee walkers.

Q: Is there a difference between a knee scooter and a knee walker?

A: They both mean the same thing, and we normally use both phrases when talking to patients about them.

The phrase knee walker is an older term that most doctors like to use. While the term knee scooter is a recent phrase that was created to refer its technicality and what it serves.

You can use whatever term you like and still it will mean the same thing.

Q: How do I know that this knee scooter is right for me?

A: If you need to rent a scooter, we have done our research and tested several scooters that we could lay our hands-on and we are happy to name the best knee scooter on the market which is available for rent. This model is known as the Pathfinder which is made by RammTCL a company located just outside of Seattle.  This scooter as far as we are concerned is the most stable, durable, and the most user-friendly.

Most people hesitate when they look at the pathfinder as it weighs about 2.5 pounds more than other models which we offer for rental as well as purchase. In case you are always on the move from one city to another and you will always need to transport your scooter by loading it into a car or plane, then it will be in your best interest to purchase a lighter model that will make your recovery process easier.

The Roscoe is one of the best lighter knee scooters on the market and it is installed with adjustable brakes which gives you extra security when it comes to speed and stopping.

The DV8 is also among the lighter scooters and it features a dual braking mechanism that enables you to slow down or stop with either hand. DV8 is a bit lower weight capacity as compared to the Roscoe.  It supports 300 pounds while the Roscoe and the Pathfinder support 350 pounds.

Q: Do knee scooters turn, fold or work on carpet?

A: All the knee scooters turn by steering the handlebar in the same way just like a bicycle. And almost all the knee scooters fold up as they possess release levers that are responsible for folding.

You can use a scooter on the carpet even though the transition between different surfaces needs an extra amount of caution especially if you have a carpeted surface over a wooden floor or linoleum surface. Take precautions and move slowly over carpeted surfaces.

Q: What is the size of our knee scooters?

A: Our Pathfinder model weighs 25 pounds and you can adjust its handlers to reach a height ranging between 31 to 41 inches. The seat/pad that supports the injured leg, ankle or foot measures 2 inches and can be adjusted to different heights depending on your preference.

The DV8 model is lighter measuring 22.7 pounds. Its seat/pad range of height adjustments is within 3 inches. This means that its handlebar can only extend to not more than 38 inches high. This model supports only 300 pounds, unlike other models that support 350 pounds.

The Roscoe scooter has just the same dimensions as the Pathfinder the only difference is that its pad has an additional half-inch room of adjustment whereas the scooter itself weighs 2.5 pounds less than the Pathfinder.

Q: How to slow down a knee scooter?

A: All our knee scooters are installed with hand braking systems the same way as bicycles. You will have to be extra careful when braking making sure that you do not pull the brakes too hard as you can end up losing balance. To get used to brakes, we do advise our clients to have their scooters before surgery so that they can practice and get used to them. This ensures safety and comfort when you start using the scooter after surgery.

Q: Do I knee a prescription from my physician before renting a knee scooter?

A: We do not ask for a prescription when you want to rent our knee scooters. But it is in your best interest to have one so that you can submit it to your insurance provider for refund or cost coverage.

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Choosing the right Knee Walker or Scooter

What is a knee walker?

A roll about walker is a wheeled walker device that is designed in such a way that it takes weight away from your lower body parts helping you in the recovery process. The device enables you to move around while supporting your injured foot or leg to prevent it from extra injury.

A steerable knee walker is normally used as a substitute for crutches as crutches can lead to further injuries. Besides crutches are not comfortable for many people. A steerable knee walker device is a hand free device when using it and makes your day easier without hassles while offering you some comfort as compared to crutches.

Crutches are commonly used by people who have ankle, foot or lower leg injuries. This is because they are designed in such a way that they remove weight pressure from the injured area making the recovery process at least easier.

How to use a knee scooter?

You will be able to determine how to use the knee scooter while you in a standing position. The injured leg should rest comfortably upon the seat pad. The uninjured leg should remain straight on the floor while the injured leg keeps resting in the middle of the seat pad.

The handlebars should be kept in a straight right angle so that they can be easily reached and used. Besides you can adjust their height to correspond with yours. This can be done by locating the knob that is at the top of the handlebar tube, remove it and then set the right height that corresponds with you. After that, place the knob back in place then tighten it.

You will have to adjust the seat of the knee walker by locating the seat adjustment lever which is located under the seat itself. Hold onto the seat front to raise or lower the height of the seat. You can flip the lever below the seat also you can loosen it whenever needed. To do that, you will have to remove the safety pin which is located under the seat too. After making all these changes, make sure that you double-check to see if the knobs and seat are tightened to be sure that everything is rigid and secure.

When you are done with assembling your knee scooter and you are sure that now it is secure to use, you should take your time and read the user’s manual to learn how to operate it. This will help in preventing you from mistakes that may lead to future injuries. Besides, it will prolong the life of your knee scooter if you use it as directed by the manufacturer.

Before you start turning around your knee scooter, make sure that your uninjured foot, your injured knee as well as your hips are leveled and straightened together with your lower back.

To propel your knee scooter, you will have to use your uninjured leg thus preventing extra injuries and pain to the other injured foot. If it is your first time to use a knee scooter, it might take some time for you to get used to it. Make sure that whenever there is an obstacle in front of you apply the brakes to prevent an accident.

Once you are used to it then you can go on and ride outdoors. The more you use your knee scooter, the more you get used to it thus feeling more comfortable riding and maneuvering it.

Crutch substitute VS Crutch replacement

Normally seated knee walkers are used together with crutches and sometimes are substitutes to crutches. There is a new type of technology known as the KW-100. Recently people use knee walkers as substitutes for the conventional crutches as they are far better, comfortable, and easy to carry and get around with.

Crutches are becoming rare as people are abandoning using them because they seem to be inconvenient, as they are not easy to use and if not careful they can lead to falls and cause you further injuries. Besides some people suffer from other health issues such as arthritis which makes using crutches painful on a normal basis.

Hands-free knee walker

When using crutches, you will not only face health issues but they will destruct and annoy you in every way. Go to the supermarket for shopping with crutches it is likely that you will need someone to help you get around or to help you pick groceries. This is different from a knee scooter as you will be able to move around easily with no need for help as you can propel yourself and reach high grounds to pick anything you want.

You can easily reach higher grocery while on a knee scooter without having to worry about falling. Besides, when you walk for a long distance with crutches you will end up feeling itching under your armpits and you can have bruises and injuries too.

Using a walker after knee surgery

After surgery, you can have a knee walker as a substitute for crutches. Many people prefer using knee walkers because they are more convenient as compared to crutches. Crutches are uncomfortable and unreliable too. You can use a knee scooter even before surgery as soon as you are injured and after you have surgery.

Some of the patients need to have weight-bearing relief that is offered by a walker right before having surgery on the wounds such as ulcers and diabetic wounds as well as Torn Achilles tendon, or in case they are having surgery to the ankle or foot.

Also, a knee walker can be used after surgery to help a patient move from place to place during their healing process. The device will help the patient continue with his/her daily routines while protecting her tender as well as his/her newly operated foot or leg.

When using a knee scooter, you will use your uninjured leg to propel your scooter forward. When it comes to crutches your arms will carry most of your body weight which makes you feel uncomfortable. It is far better your health leg to propel the scooter than your entire body pressing on crutches.

Although propelling knee scooters offer more comfort as compared to crutches, that does not mean that you will not get exhausted. The scooter will allow you to be able to rest your body as well as offering you more stamina while you are on the move.

Leg Injury

The best part of using a knee scooter is that it still offers you an opportunity to continue doing some of your daily routines while recovering from your leg/knee injury. If you had a leg injury, it is better if you use a knee scooter rather than crutches as it will provide you with extra support and prevent your injured leg from any potential stress.

Using a knee walker as mobility for an ankle injury

An ankle injury is not different from a leg injury as the affected foot has to be taken care of during the healing process. Normally people use crutches when they have ankle or leg injuries but there are substitutes that a person can use for mobility.

The crutch substitutes include knee walkers which are more comfortable than crutches as you will not have to use extra muscles to carry your body weight.   A knee scooter offers a weight-bearing relief that is essential in case you are having an ankle injury.

Using a knee walker as a mobility aid after a foot injury

In case you had a foot injury then you should always be careful to prevent any weight pressure upon the injured feet as it might compromise the healing process. You can do this by using crutches as your mobility aid while you are in the recovery process. The problem is that crutches are not comfortable to use and sometimes are annoying and hard to maneuver.

Knee scooters are becoming common as many people are finding them to be the best alternative to crutches. These wheeled knee walkers are taking over crutches as people find them to be more comfortable and offering more support than crutches.

Using a knee scooter after a bicycle or car accident

If you had a bicycle or car accident you may have experienced injuries to your lower part of the body which will make it hard for you to walk or move from place to place. You will have to take a look into getting a knee walker or scooter which will offer you freedom as well as independence to do what you always do during your recovery process. Besides the device can also be used by people after fracture or surgery.

Knee scooters for elderly people

Depending on their physical conditions elderly people can use knee scooters for a short or long time. Those who have issues with weight pressure upon their lower they should use wheeled walkers while knee caddy can help them to balance out their body weight with no risk of further injuries.

A doctor or physician who will assess the senior’s injury will be responsible for prescribing or recommending of what an elder should or should not do upon the injured leg during the recovery process. This might include not to put any weight over the injured leg or foot. If the senior has mobility issues, then a roscoe knee walker can help him/her to move indoor or outdoor easily.

In case you cannot afford to buy a wheeled walker for your elderly, then crutches can help him/her to walk from one place to another.

Knee walker usage for seniors

This type of device works for the majority of elderly people but some find it difficult to use it due to their health issues. To use a knee walker a senior should have proper balance, vision, and strength to handle it effectively to prevent further injury.

Prevent Further injury

In case you had surgery or injury in your lower body, getting a knee scooter is essential as it will help you move easily indoors and outdoors. Knee walkers are exceptional as they are known for preventing further injuries. Besides knee walkers offer weight-bearing relief compared to crutches.

Reach higher when using a knee scooter

When you are using a knee scooter you will be able to reach on higher grounds as it offers support when you want to grab items that are on high racks. Also using wheel walkers will enable you to propel forward while making sure that your injured knee or ankle is preserved to heal faster and prevent any further injury.

What you should know is that mobility knee walkers offer support that will enable users to reach higher grounds as well as be able to reach places that they could not reach using crutches.

You will be able to easily get in the shower using a knee walker

Many people face difficulties in getting in and out of the shower as they usually get injured. A wheeled knee scooter will offer you the ability to easily get in the shower do what you want to do as you can use it for support.

Turning knee scooter

Normally a steerable knee scooter comes with a handlebar that can be used to control or steer the device. You can freely turn left and right as well as tilt the handle tube placing it at an angle for better comfort.

Maintenance – adjusting the brake tension

You can adjust brakes on the knee wheel scooter in case you have a feeling that the handle push is too loose or too tight. You can do this by locating the adjusting wash that is at the end of the brake cable just above the wheels. Then you can tighten or loosen it depending on what you desire to accomplish.

Characteristics of most knee walkers

  • Durable, foldable, and lightweight frame
  • Wheels on the knee walker
  • Seat
  • Tires
  • Levers
  • Kneel pad
  • Steering
  • Basket
  • Brakes

Knee walker price tags

Roll about knee scooters are available for sale through distributors as well as online stores such as Amazon. The KW-100 model knee walker is sold at a reasonable price and is available online in almost all online distributors.

Knee scooter cost between $100 to $400 depending on its features, quality and the store you purchase from.

Renting a knee scooter

There are many stores and companies available locally and online that offer rental services of different types and models of knee walkers. These help people who are having limited budgets yet in need of having these devices to rent them. Besides they are those people who just need the device for a short time like one or two weeks so buying is not necessary. Injured people and those from surgery prefer to go for crutch substitutes or knee caddy as they are far better than crutches. You can buy one if you need it for a long time or you can rent it whereas you will have to ship it back after your recovery.

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All about renting a knee scooter

I once suffered a foot injury after having a car accident that I found myself in hospital and I had to spend four months using a walking aid until I recovered from the injury. In another case, I suffered an ankle injury while playing football with my friends. This led me to experience unbearable pain that I could not freely walk for quite some time.

In both cases, I needed support to walk and therefore I had to use crutches which worked as a walking aid for me. But these were hard to maneuver and limited my walking speed. Besides, sometimes they caused itching under my armpits and made me feel uncomfortable.

Many people who find themselves in my situation are normally offered wheelchairs or crutches as means of walking aids. But the fact is that there is a better option available on the market which is more convenient and offers a great mobility level. This is known as the knee scooter for tough terrain.

What is a knee scooter?

This is just a scooter that is installed with an additional rest platform for your injured foot, ankle or knee. It is designed specifically to offer comfort and aid so that the user can move independently or with minimal aid after having surgery or injury.

This device is normally used after surgery acting as a mobility aid for the patient during his/her recovery process which might take quite some time. In case the surgery is more serious a wheelchair or bed rest might be required. Normally, the common crutches are known to discourage mobility instead of encouraging the user to walk. This is what makes a knee scooter an idle choice as compared to crutches. A knee scooter enables an injured person to move fast, easily, comfortably and independently. If the user needs help he/she might only need it when getting in or out of the knee scooter.

Its design is not different from a standard scooter, where it has handlebars, sturdy wheels, brakes, and its performance is not different from the standard scooter too. The unique feature that the knee scooter offer is that you can use one leg to push it along the course while the injured, leg, ankle or foot is out of action resting on the resting pad.

While you are in a knee scooter your injured ankle, knee or ankle will rest on the step which is attached to the scooter while your uninjured leg will push forward the scooter. The scooter comprises of handles to steer and maneuver it as well as brakes for making it stop. It has sturdy wheels that are designed in such a way that they offer stability and comfortability.

The knee scooters can be found in different types, models and sizes depending on the state and needs of the user. There are knee scooters for adults, elderly people, children, adults with small bodies, and paralysis patients. Your choice will depend on several factors depending on your needs.

Why would you need to have a knee scooter?

Even though crutches are common, but they are not the best choice as many people do not feel comfortable when using them, nor do they find them easy to maneuver. You might also feel that you cannot handle crutches due to their large size as well as the need to use upper muscle strength while walking.

Normally when using crutches or wheelchair the injured leg, ankle or foot is not always elevated and this prolongs the recovery time. Besides, the injured organ will experience weight pressure upon it when using crutches or a wheelchair. This is different when using a knee scooter and this is among the many advantages that make it a better choice as compared to the other. A knee scooter normally elevates the injured organ entirely and this means the injured area will not experience weight pressure as it will be sufficiently elevated.

Besides a wheelchair will limit your mobility restricting you from performing your daily routines as well as your general moving capabilities.  Perhaps you are used to being active and you need to keep your normal life throughout your recovering process, this is where a knee scooter can assist you. With a knee scooter, you can go on with your daily routines as your injured organ will be resting upon an inbuilt pad. On the other hand, you will be more independent with no need to depend so much on someone to assist you.

Normally if you had surgery or you are recovering from an injury you might experience being trapped. This can affect your mental state as your new state will limit your mobility and you will find it difficult to adjust to this new lifestyle. The knee scooter will help you in maintaining a certain level of your normal life as it will help you move from place to place and join your friends when they are having fun outdoor.

How can you rent a knee scooter?

There are several online markets from which you can rent a knee scooter in case you need one. There are local stores too although many people find online stores to be more convenient. However, not everybody has access to the internet and therefore for some people an in-store is the best option for them.

If you have mobility issues and you cannot walk around stores, then online stores are the only options for you. You can take your time to make your online research on the best available options according to your needs. If your injury is very serious, make sure that your decision on the type and model of the scooter is based upon your doctor’s prescription.

Making an online purchase is easy though there are several stages to be taken into consideration. The initial stage is to choose the product. This requires you to take your time and make your research before selecting the right product that will fulfill your needs. Your needs should depend on the following:

•            The extent of your injury

•            How long will the recovery process take?

•            Your body measurements which include weight and height

•            Do you have any allergies?

•            What is your style preference?

After you have made up your mind by considering the above points, you will be able to do more thorough and extensive research. You can go through the product reviews to have a clear picture of the product that will lead you to reach your decision. In case you still do not know what to do, then you can contact the customer care service support.

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Types of Wheelchairs that you can find in the market today

There are a lot of options when it comes to selecting a wheelchair. This is because there are several models out there with their sub-models as well as varieties that you can choose from depending on your taste, need, and preference. These include the following:

  • All-terrain wheelchairs
  • Airplane wheelchairs
  • Ergonomic wheelchairs
  • Beach wheelchairs
  • Bariatric wheelchairs
  • Pediatric wheelchairs
  • Reclining wheelchairs
  • Racing wheelchairs
  • Single-arm drive wheelchairs
  • Standing wheelchairs
  • Ultra-light wheelchairs
  • Tilt wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair stretchers

Getting to know a wheelchair

A wheelchair is just a straight-backed chair that has wheels that are connected to a locking mechanism. This can be used for transporting the injured, the ill, as well as people who suffer from mobility.

Main Usage

Mainly these are medical equipment considered to be Durable Medical devices for Medicare Category B. There are different types as well as designs but all of these are optimized for transporting the elderly, the sick and those with mobility problems.

Each of these types will be discussed in the sections that follow.

All types of wheelchairs

  • All-Terrain Wheelchairs: These are among the unusual types when it comes to wheelchairs. They have large inflated tires that have deep treads that enable them to move over any kind of terrain without any problem. 

Most of these models resemble scooters rather than wheelchairs, but still, they fall in a category of wheelchairs. These are perfect for outdoor mobility.

  • Manual Wheelchairs

These are the traditional wheelchairs that people are familiar with and are what people think of when you mention the phrase. These are common in hospitals as well as nursing homes. Their price tag is very low and most people can afford them.

The fact is that among all types of wheelchairs available in the market this is a sub-optimal selection because older people do not have strength in the upper body that makes it difficult for them to propel themselves, hence they will need someone to help them to push the wheelchair around. This makes a motorized wheelchair or scooter to be one of the best choices in case you can afford it.

Types of Manual Wheelchairs

These can be grouped according to their use and functionality

  • Sports
  • Lightweight
  • Reclining
  • Pediatric
  • Transport
  • Hemi-Height
  • Heavy Duty

Electric Wheelchairs

These are the most popular and many people prefer these because they allow the user to move around with freedom and with no need for someone to push the wheelchair. It makes the user independent thus not having to rely on an assistant or nurse. The only time a person will need help is when he/she wants to get in a chair.

As long as he/she is in a position she/he can move the wheelchair around freely.  Even people with difficult mobility can use these kinds of wheelchairs easily. They are good for patients with cerebral palsy as well as people with mobility restrictions. But it comes with a high price tag as compared to manually chairs.

Airplane Wheelchairs

These are more common to airlines as they are used to move around people who have disabilities. You can have one if you are among the people with disabilities and you keep traveling a lot.

These kinds of wheelchairs are smaller, flexible as well as lighter as compared to the manual ones. They are designed specifically to allow them to pass in-between the rows of the airplane seats. They also have safety buckles giving you the ability to buckle up while in flight just like other passengers.

You can still use them on your daily basis even if you are not traveling.

Beach Wheelchairs

These are made from Hollow aluminum tubes or PVC material with oversized wheels which enable them to move over beach sand. They are good for people who are having mobility issues and yet are looking forward to enjoying their time at the beach.

Bariatric Wheelchairs

This type of wheelchair is specifically designed for obese patients. It is made up of a sturdier frame that has a wide seat that provides a full range of adjustments which is good for people who have extreme weight problems,

Ergonomic Wheelchairs

These are designed to meet the standards by unifying the characteristics of manual wheelchairs and ergonomic office chairs together with the best lumbar support. These are best for those people who sit for quite a long time.

Pediatric Wheelchairs

These are kids-sized which are so identical to the full-sized ones. They are just small in size to fit their intended users.

Reclining Wheelchairs

These are among the wheelchairs with extremely advanced designs that are made in such a way that they offer all the benefits that come with the recliner, as they are rolled into wheelchairs. These wheelchairs come with pillows to offer more comfort to their users when resting in a reclined angle. You can have a sleep when sitting in any of these kinds of wheelchairs though you will need to add extra padding.

These chairs are the best options for patients suffering from spinal cord injuries and need to recline.

Single-Arm Drive Wheelchairs

One of the problems that come with manual wheelchairs is that the user needs to use both arms to propel it. If the user uses a single-arm he/she will end up turning the chair into circles. But the single-arm wheelchair solves this issue by using the axle to connect the two wheels thus allowing the user to move forward using one arm to propel.

Racing/Sports wheelchairs

These can be grouped into two:

A sports wheelchair is designed in the same way just like the standard wheelchair. The only difference is that the large wheels are adjusted to an angle that they tend to bend in towards the seat, making it able to make tighter turns and allowing the user to have full engagement in different sports such as tennis, basketball, etc.

While a racing wheelchair consists of large two wheels, angled inward just the same way as described above, with an addition of a smaller front wheel. This is designed for speed allowing the user to participate in racing.

Standing Wheelchairs

The name connotes the design, as they are designed to be used for standing. A lot of modern-day models allow configuration which makes them be used while standing as well as in a sitting position.

Tilt Wheelchairs

These are the best option when it comes to patients suffering from cerebral palsy and they need a recline. Both the tilt and reclining wheelchairs accomplish the same task but in different ways.

Ultralight Wheelchairs

These are extremely light as compared to other wheelchairs. They are made to make certain movements which include a shortened seatback. These are made using lightweight materials to make them very light.

Wheelchair Stretchers

This design is not for home use as it is often used by EMTs as well as hospital professionals. The design is very light and the wheelchair can recline to up to 180 degrees turning into a stretcher when the catch is set free.

The iBot

This is an additional type of wheelchair that I felt worthy of mentioning. It is a minor type that is why it is not listed among the major ones.

This has advanced technology with an extra set of wheels and in case you want to walk upstairs, the chair can rise and move on its two wheels and let you walk up or downstairs. Its unique design can move on any type of terrain.

In other words, all the other types of wheelchairs mentioned above are rolled into one making the iBot.

The first generation of this wheelchair was introduced for sale to the public, but because of its price tag that was extremely high, the manufacturer decided to discontinue it. Currently, a new version is available on the market which is still among the wheelchairs with the latest technologies.

Types of Elderly Wheelchairs

A portion of our population are elderly people and they use wheelchairs more than any other group.

There is no specific reason why an elderly person could not use any kinds of wheelchairs we just mentioned earlier, but the fact is that some wheelchairs are more convenient for elderly people than other wheelchairs. To understand this, we have to first know the types of wheelchairs which are available for elderly people.

Here is a shortlist of elderly people wheelchairs:

  • Manual wheelchairs
  • Electric wheelchairs/mobility scooters
  • Ergonomic wheelchairs
  • Bariatric wheelchairs
  • Ultra-light wheelchairs
  • Reclining wheelchairs

Some of the above wheelchairs will be good or bad depending on certain conditions. For example, an 89 pound senior has no practical need for using a bariatric wheelchair. On the other hand, older people have no strength that would let them push a manual wheelchair, therefore they will need someone to assist them.

Types of Wheelchairs suitable for Paraplegics

In this group, all members need to have a wheelchair to function. Despite their limitations, not all wheelchairs are good for them. Below is our shortlisted list of the wheelchairs which suit them:

  • Manual wheelchairs- these can be used when an assistant is available
  • Electric wheelchairs as well as modified scooters
  • Reclining wheelchairs
  • Ergonomic wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair stretchers
  • Ultra-light wheelchairs

Normally an electric wheelchair is an obvious choice for people having mobility issues, but when it comes to this group the only way to make it work is to install an Emotiv headset to allow the paraplegic to be able to control the motion of his/her wheelchair with simple movements like eye blinks or with thoughts.

A brief history of wheelchairs

When we try to track the history of wheelchairs we have to go back in 1595 when an unmentioned inventor made a wheeled chair for the King of Spain by then known as King Phillip II. But this design was never copied by anyone and when the King died the design disappeared.

It took another hundred years for the idea to resurface when Stephan Farffler who was a paraplegic watchmaker decided to create a mechanized wheeled chair for his personal use. The chair was installed over a three-wheeled frame, but just like King Phillip II’s chair when Farffler died the design died with him.

Then in the year 1783 what we recognize today as a wheelchair made its debut appearance. This chair was designed by John Dawson, from Bath city, England and that gave the design the name “Bath Wheelchair”.

The original design had a small single wheel in front and over time this design was modified and another wheel was added to the front just like how we see it today.

The typical design that is seen in most of the manual wheelchairs that we see today was invented back in 1933, by an inventor known as Harry Jennings who had a disabled friend.

The first patent to be filed for a motorized wheelchair is recorded to be in 1916, but it took more than 34 years until into the 1950s the device to appear as viable products.

Today’s wheelchairs

Due to technological advancements especially in the field of medicine, material science ad ergonomics, there has been a gradual change that has led to different types and variants of wheelchairs. Besides of all these changes, the wheelchairs still bear the fundamentals of the original design. This includes having two large wheels at the back as well as handgrips that allow someone walking behind the wheelchair to push the chair forward.

We have experienced a cutting edge technology where there is a mind-controlled wheelchair. This technology is independent of the wheelchair as it is contained in the headset gadget worn by the person who is sitting in the wheelchair. The headset works by measuring the brain activity and when the wearer is thinking to move forward the chair, measuring the difference in electrical signals as to when the wearer thinks “forward” “backward” “right” “left” and so on.

The headset identifies the changes in the brainwave patterns, whereas the electric wheel installed with the device can be controlled by that power of thought. This makes it the most advanced among all types of wheelchairs for paraplegics and for other people who have extreme mobility issues.

The following are some of the current wheelchair brands you can look upon

  • Invacare
  • Pride Mobility
  • Drive Medical

Check out our wheelchair rental in Madison, WI