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Why Footrests for Wheelchairs Are Important


Why Footrests for Wheelchairs Are Important

Footrests for wheelchairs are essential for sitting, placement, and functional freedom. When seated in the ideal wheelchair, pressure is adequately distributed across the seat cushion, preventing pressure harm to the skin.

Every year, 2 million new wheelchair users are born in the United States. Around 3.6 million persons over the age of 15 in the United States use a wheelchair.

Around 650 million individuals, or around 10% of the world’s population, have a handicap.

The footrest you choose might also affect your functional freedom and safety. When making a decision, think about the chair’s layout and your own particular transfer techniques.

What Are Footrests for Wheelchairs?

The two most prevalent forms of foot support for a wheelchair are a footrest and a leg rest. The wheelchair footrest comprises of a hanger that attaches to the wheelchair and maybe unclipped to allow the user to stand by swinging away from the foot area, as well as a plate on which the wheelchair user can rest their feet/foot.

Footrests, on the other hand, are the most common and, despite their simplicity, perform an important function for wheelchair users.

While sitting in a wheelchair, the footrest assists the user in keeping proper posture. The user’s back, lower thighs, and hip bones may be strained if the footplates are in an improper position.

If the footrest is excessively low, the user’s upper thighs and behind the knee will be put under needless pressure. There will be increased strain on the hip bones if the footplates are too high. Sitting in the wrong position for an extended amount of time can cause lower back discomfort, excessive strain on the hip and thigh area, and digestive issues.

The Importance of Footrests for Wheelchairs

To maintain the wheelchair user’s comfort, proper foot support is required. An excessively sharp angle between the torso and the upper leg should be avoided. It can cause lower back discomfort and excessive pressure on the buttocks or lower thigh area, as well as digestive difficulties.

Does the Footrest Promote Good Posture?

Standing, sitting, lying, or executing duties is called posture, and it’s typically linked to bending, lifting, pushing, and reaching.

To have excellent posture, you must constantly hold yourself in a way that puts the least amount of pressure on your back and related muscles, ligaments, and tendons, regardless of what you are doing.

When seen from the side, your spine has natural curves that create an ‘S’ shape, with the cervical and lumbar spines having an inward lordotic (inward) curve and the thoracic spine having a mild kyphotic (outward) curve.

Correct posture encourages the spine’s natural three curves; nevertheless, this is strongly reliant on proper pelvic and lower limb alignment, without which the spine must adjust and lose its original form.

As a result, good sitting posture is also determined by:

  • Weight is evenly distributed over both hips.
  • Knee flexed to form a 90-degree angle between the Femur and the Tibia
  • Stand with your feet flat on a sturdy surface.

The footrests for wheelchairs may be adjusted to accommodate for leg length differences or other variables, ensuring that weight is evenly distributed while the feet are on the footrest.

The height of the wheelchair footrest may be adjusted to maintain proper angles in the ankle, knee, hip, and pelvis. This also aids the user’s ability to set their feet flat on the footrest, allowing them to alter their position and encourage natural pelvic placement by pushing through their feet.

It’s also worth mentioning that a female’s feet lying level on a firm surface when peeing helps bladder emptying, which is crucial to consider if the wheelchair user is also utilizing a commode-like device.

It goes without saying that good posture benefits a wheelchair user’s health and well-being by promoting tissue viability, minimizing pain and discomfort in joints and related muscles, and allowing the wheelchair user to have an active lifestyle. This emphasizes the significance of using wheelchair footrests.

Choose Footrests That Promote Better Posture

Consider these variables to enhance efficiency and energy transmission. Changing the position of the wheelchair footrests is one approach to keep the user from sliding down the wheelchair and keep a decent posture. Other characteristics, such as reclining and tilting wheelchairs, might have the same impact, so pay attention to these details to better match the features you require.

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