Wheelchair mobility for individuals with SCI

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  1. Seating and positioning
  2. Wheelchair mobility
  3. Advanced wheelchair skills

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Top Contributors - Venugopal Pawar  

Seating and Positioning

Most wheelchair users spend many hours sitting. This means that their wheelchair is not just a mobility aid. It also helps to support them in sitting upright comfortably.
Sitting upright/neutral sitting posture
What is posture?
Posture is the way a person’s body parts are arranged. Wherever possible, a well fitting wheelchair should support wheelchair users in sitting in an upright posture. Sometimes “sitting upright” is described as a neutral sitting posture.
Why is it important to sit upright?
Sitting upright helps wheelchair users in many ways. Sitting upright is good for:
• health: an upright posture helps with digestion of food and breathing;
• stability: an upright posture is more stable;
• weight distribution: when sitting upright body weight is evenly distributed – this helps to reduce the risk of pressure sores;
• comfort: when body weight is distributed evenly, it is more comfortable for the user;
• preventing problems with posture: sitting upright will help to reduce the chance of developing deformities of the spine in the future;
• self-esteem and confidence: sitting upright can help wheelchair users feel better about themselves.


Even though sitting upright has many benefits, without postural support it can be hard to stay in this posture all day. This is why people without a disability use different postures throughout the day. For a wheelchair user who sits in a wheelchair all day, the wheelchair needs to provide enough support to help the user to sit upright comfortably.

Postural Support Devices are the devices which improves the duration of the wheelchair usage for wheelchair User.

  • Specially for the Wheelchair Mobility for Individuals with SCI For the Seat /Cushion we can add 

1. Outside / Inside thigh Wedge

2. Out side thigh Pads

3. Knee Sepertor Pad.

For the Positioning PSD Like wedges for anterior pelvic tilt, Pelvic side pads to be added based on requirement. 

PSD Table.png

Wheelchair Mobility Skills

Many wheelchair users live and work in places where it is difficult for them to get around, for example areas where the ground is rough, sandy or muddy, or where there are steps, kerbs or small cramped spaces.


Training in wheelchair mobility skills can help wheelchair users to tackle some of these obstacles, either independently or with assistance.
Various wheelchair mobility skills are described below.

Mobility SKills1.pngMobility skills2.jpg

Advanced Wheelchair Skills

How to make getting in and out of the wheelchair safe
For the wheelchair user:
• Always put the wheelchair brakes on when getting in and out of the wheelchair.
• Check where you are going – make sure there is nothing in the way.
• Always lift. Don’t drag – this could cause skin damage and lead to a pressure sore.

For people assisting:
• Before assisting someone, make sure you can support his/her weight.
• Explain to the user what you are going to do.
• Use safe lifting techniques.
• Do not assist if you are pregnant or have a back problem.

Advance skill1.pngAdvance skill2.png

References