Dealing With Back Pain in Wheelchair Users

Dealing With Back Pain in Wheelchair Users

Dealing With Back Pain in Wheelchair Users

Similar to sitting in a normal chair for long periods of time, using a wheelchair for extended users leads to the development of back pain. Human bodies arent designed to remain in a seated position for long periods of time because this leads to the development of back pain issues.

Many wheelchair users think that just because they use wheelchairs on daily basis, it is amust that they suffer from neck and back pain. This isnt true. With proper postural procedures and placing close attention to the skeleton, we can avoid the many musculoskeletal problems that occur in wheelchair users.

How Does Back and Neck Pain Develop in This Group?

The purpose of the wheelchair is to help the user move around more easily. However, many people forget something else about the wheelchair it is also used for stability and as a substitution for missing or weak muscles when sitting or performing an activity.

For most people, slumping back in the wheelchair and sliding the buttocks forward in the seat helps you be comfortable, but it leads to the development of pain problems. The kind of wheelchair you choose also helps or make the problem of back pain worse.

The conventional wheelchair that is available for many users comes with a backrest that rarely goes beyond the upper back with a 90-degree backrest angle. This results in the buttocks sliding forward and the neck of the user to move forward. Proper posture isnt possible when the wheelchair has this configuration.

Users have found a way to increase the stability of the chair by reclining the backrest or tilting the chair backwards in space. This helps put the lower back against the backrest, but it also pushes the neck forward which puts a lot of strain on the neck muscles, leading to neck pain.

Why You Need an Adjustable Back Rest

When it comes to proper posture, whether you are standing or sitting, you need to maintain proper spinal curves. Maintaining the normal spinal curve involves less muscle strength and activity. With the muscles working less, pain and fatigue reduce.

This is why you need an adjustable backrest for your wheelchair. Keeping the back seat angle at 90 degrees and lowering the height of the backrest just below the upper back, and the bottom of the backrest providing support to the lumbar region provides the optimum position for utmost comfort.

This also works for electric wheelchair users. Make sure you set up the chair to allow normal spinal curve. You also need to support the lower back at all times.

Avoid Bad Postural Habits

You need to avoid poor posture habits while performing some activities such as keyboard positioning and more. Make sure you follow best practices when working.

For high wheelchairs, you can use accessories to achieve the proper spinal arch. For instance, check out get these pillows for proper neck support.

Final Thoughts

Take time to get the right wheelchair for your needs, possibly one with an adjustable backrest. Follow the tips in this article to improve comfort as well as avoid back pain.