Here’s How Wheelchair Cushions Can Reduce Pain from Pressure Injuries – Ergo21
Pressure injuries are one of the common issues among wheelchair users, especially those who are unable to reposition themselves. This may often result in discolored skin, superficial damage to the skin, a deeper wound, or an infection that may be fatal. People who are bedridden or those with an injury may lose sensation while suffering from pressure injuries. To manage the harsh effects of pressure injuries, switching to wheelchair cushions for pressure relief is a smart choice. Not only these cushions are ergonomically designed to distribute the vertical pressure from your spine, but also promote the right posture, which in turn alleviates the possibility of all these health issues. Before going deep into different ways you can use a wheelchair seat cushion, let’s first understand the concept of a basic wheelchair cushion.
A wheelchair cushion is designed to ensure that the user has sufficient support against the injury while being properly positioned in the right posture. Wheelchair users often struggle with pressure sores that are resulted from excessive pressure on the sit bones, shear stress on the skin, excessive sweating & inadequate airflow in the area, hence, a good quality wheelchair cushion can drastically improve the situation. The innumerable options in the market include air cushions, gel cushions, and memory foam or mesh chair seat cushion that prevent the excessive stretching of the skin tissues and improve the blow flow in the tissues, which ultimately reduces all the above-mentioned issues. These cushions play a crucial role in improving the overall movement and functioning of the body.
Before making the big decision, give a deep thought to the number of hours you spent on the wheelchair, if it is your primary seat, the mesh chair cushion must fulfill all these criteria-
Soft yet Firm Material: Find out the material used to make the wheelchair cushion. It should be lightweight, breathable, and non-slip. While a gel cushion is soft and has a contoured base, it is not as firm as foam cushions, which are affordable, lightweight and available in different sizes and densities to suit individual requirements. The air cushions can be deflated and require maintenance, however, they are effective in pressure relief and shock absorption. You can also choose the technologically advanced Ergo21 Wheelchair cushions for pressure relief, which feature LiquiCell technology based on water-filled membranes that distribute the pressure evenly and reduce the chances of pressure sore.
- Comfort and Stability: While all cushions have their pros and cons, it is recommended to try different types of cushions to understand their comfort level. There are a number of sitting clinics that would allow you to try different types of cushions so that you can better understand your requirements and make the decision accordingly. You can also try a ROHO seat cushion, which is made using inflated air blocks to distribute the pressure evenly. Once you understand the difference in comfort level, you can make an informed decision.
- Ease of Maintenance: While air, gel, and ROHO seat cushions require special care, Ergo21 Wheelchair seat cushions and memory foam cushions require less maintenance. In the case of gel cushions, you need to redistribute or knead the cushion for proper stability, which is not the case with foam cushions. Some of the cushions require frequent washing and dry cleaning. Keep these points in consideration before choosing a suitable cushion to combat pressure injuries.
- Distributes Pressure Evenly: The main job of a wheelchair cushion is to distribute the pressure from your sit bones so that there is no pain due to vertical pressure. Additional features like the right cushioning, advanced technologies, and the right firmness would add to the comfort level. Many cushions are crafted using a stretchable fabric, which reduces shear stress on the skin and makes sitting comfortable.
- Improves the Blood Flow: By reducing the vertical pressure, the wheelchair cushions help improve the blood flow in your pelvic region, which in turn reduce numbness and fidgeting, and helps in repositioning without any issue. People who spend most of their day in wheelchairs require a good blood supply to eliminate the chances of pressure injuries including sores. Ergo21 mesh chair seat cushion helps improve blood flow and circulation by 150%, which is imperative for people in wheelchairs.
- Promotes Better Posture: When it comes to lumbar pain, everything starts from a bad posture. Whether you’re sitting in an office chair, traveling in the car, airplane, or spending your time at home on the sofa, a good quality lumbar support cushion is a must as it helps fill the natural S curvature of your spine. For wheelchair users, maintaining the right posture is all the more important to eliminate the vertical pressure from their back to avoid any kind of pressure injury.
Keeping up with pressure injuries is a difficult task, hence, it is important to maintain the right posture and support your lumbar back and sit bones while doing your everyday activities. People with spinal injuries or those who spend most of their day sitting in a wheelchair must opt for a good quality, ergonomically designed wheelchair cushion to ensure safety, comfort, and ease of repositioning to avoid pressure injuries.