A person with a spinal cord injury that results in paralysis finds that he or she can get around as quickly and easily in a wheelchair and others who walk. Thanks to today’s modern wheelchairs, people with paralysis have access to working, shopping, or anything else that requires travel outside the home. Wheelchairs also allow the survivor to enjoy recreational pursuits, such as wheelchair tennis and basketball.
Choosing a Chair
There are a wide variety of wheelchairs available, depending upon their intended use. For example, a wheelchair to be used for racing or other sports will have dramatically different features than one designed for use on rugged trails. Chairs should be selected based on intended use, performance, style, and weight.
Manual wheelchairs are propelled by the arms, and are therefore used by people with function in their upper bodies. Today’s manual wheelchairs are lightweight and come in a variety of colors and styles. They come in rigid frames and folding frames, which are easier to transfer in and out of cars. Most of today’s modern manual wheelchairs also have suspension systems for a smoother ride.
Power wheelchairs are typically used by people with little or no upper body strength. Today’s power wheelchairs are much lighter, more powerful, and faster than the original power wheelchairs that were loaded down with batteries and motors. Power wheelchairs also come in a variety of colors and styles.