Around 650 million people live with a disability, many of whom are confined to a wheelchair. Being in a wheelchair can be uncomfortable without proper body support. This can lead to bad posture, which causes lower back injuries and pain. Footrests can help minimize this discomfort in wheelchairs that are rigid. Here’s how wheelchair footrests are essential for good posture to improve comfort and minimize pain.
What Are Wheelchair Footrests?
There are several types of wheelchair support for legs and feet available. The two most common wheelchair footrests are a footrest and a leg rest. A footrest includes a hanger that attaches to the wheelchair that can swing away so the user can stand if needed. It also includes a plate at the bottom where a wheelchair user can rest their feet while sitting. A leg rest can help a wheelchair user maintain proper leg positioning and elevation when needed.
Ease Pain and Discomfort
If a wheelchair user’s feet aren’t properly supported, excessive pressure can build up on the buttocks and lower thigh areas. This pressure can cause spinal discomfort and cause the user to sit awkwardly in the chair. By improving posture, back discomfort can be relieved and it can also improve food digestion. In order to create good posture, weight must be evenly distributed across both hips. The feet should be flat on a solid surface and the knees should be flexed at a 90 degree angle.
Footrests for wheelchairs can be adjusted to compensate for discrepancies in leg lengths so body weight can be evenly distributed. Height can be adjusted so that feet can be on a flat surface no matter what the person's size is. This can help with natural pelvic positioning, which can be crucial for supporting bladder emptying during urination for females.
Good posture is incredibly important for the health and wellbeing of a wheelchair user. Wheelchair footrests can help reduce pain and discomfort by improving posture. This can improve a wheelchair user’s ability to engage in daily activities as well as prevent injuries.
If you need help choosing the best footrests for your high-performance wheelchair, contact our professionals at DME Hub. We can answer any questions or concerns you may have and help you select the best wheelchair alterations for your needs.