Wheelchair cushions are designed for both user comfort and for the prevention of pressure sores. Wheelchair users that do not have feeling in their bottoms must shift their weight often to prevent pressure sores. One possible contributor to pressure sores can be the inhibition of blood flow to the skin. In a wheelchair, this is most likely to happen where the pelvic bone is close to the skin. Typically, that happens when you sit in the same position for long periods of time. Conversely, skin injuries can also occur by frequent moving which may cause friction and tearing of the skin. A good cushion can help eliminate some of the pressure and friction as well.
Several very inexpensive foam cushions are on the market that can be used for comfort. These are mostly for the elderly or users that have feeling below the waist. They help a little, but not much in the prevention of pressure sores. When you push your hand into foam it will spring back to shape after removing your hand. This rebound effect is what you would like to avoid when trying to prevent pressure sores. Instead, consider higher quality gel or air cushions.
Gel cushions are better at distributing the weight and spreading the pressure across your pelvis. The Jay 2 is a perfect example. When you press your hand into the gel of the Jay 2, the gel shows your hand imprint. Similarly, it conforms to your body and doesn’t push back into your skin. The gel moves with you, reducing friction against the skin.
Air is another great way to prevent pressure sores. The Roho Low Profile cushion is made of hundreds of interconnected air cells.
When you push your hand into one part of the cushion, the air moves to the cells around it and doesn’t push back into your hand. The air fills all the nooks and crannies of your pelvis, distributing your weight evenly.
Choosing between air and gel is a personal preference. The gel cushion always feels a little more stable to me, but there is nothing like sitting on air. Both are excellent at wound prevention and range in price from $100 to under $300.
Please always consult with your doctor to choose the cushion that is best for you. With one of the broadest selections on the web for health and wellness products, you can always rely on AllegroMedical.com for all of your personal care and special condition needs.