A Basic Guide To Manual And Electric Wheelchairs

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A wheelchair might seem like a rather straightforward device, but many parts go into a modern wheelchair, with some helping to improve the performance of the wheelchair, as well as making it easier to use.

Traditional Manual Wheelchairs

Today, most manual wheelchairs use a design-based, at least in part, the wheelchair developed right before War II.
Not everyone is familiar with the wheelchair, which is the name of its inventors, Everest and Jennings, but most people have seen them.
This design uses hollow metal tubes in the frame and a vinyl seat, which allows the wheelchair to be folded when not in use.

The innovation of this lightweight folding wheelchair made it much easier for those who used a wheelchair to get around when it was first developed, as most other wheelchairs were made of heavy wood and other bulky materials.
This not only made it difficult to transport early wheelchairs, but it also made it hard for users to self-propel their wheelchair.
The wheelchair solved these problems, and its effect on the modern manual wheelchair can still be seen today.

Sports Wheelchairs

The sports wheelchair is becoming much more popular, which is a lightweight wheelchair, with performance in mind.
There are many different types of wheelchair sports, with many sports having a special wheelchair design.
For instance, the wheelchairs used in wheelchair basketball are surrounded by a protective cage and metal bumpers to prevent injuries.

However, there are many more generic sports wheelchairs around, which are not necessarily designed for a specific sport, but instead include some performance features.
This includes adjustable axles, smaller seats, low profile foot rigging, and many other performance tweaks that make it very maneuverable and fast.
Many wheelchair users prefer the sports wheelchair design to that of a traditional folding wheelchair.
For example, most sports wheelchairs have a much lower back, making it much easier to turn and reach things behind you.

Electric Wheelchairs

While manual wheelchairs remain very popular, they require a good deal of energy to use, requiring that they be fit and in good shape.
This requires a lot of upper body strength, which leads some to use Electric Wheelchairs, although a lot of people prefer a power chair to a manual wheelchair.

Power chairs utilize an electric motor and rechargeable battery, being very well suited for indoor use.
Most perform well on the packed ground, but some are more suited for outdoor use than others.
Electric wheelchairs are more expensive than manual wheelchairs, but most travel over five miles on a single charge, no small task in a manual wheelchair.

There are several electric wheelchairs, but two of the most common are the rear-wheel-drive wheelchair and the mid-wheel drive wheelchair.
A rear-wheel-drive electric wheelchair provides a slightly stabler base and is a little bit better suited for outdoor use than a mid-wheel drive wheelchair.
However, because the drive wheel in a mid-wheel drive wheelchair is located at the center of the device, they are often much more maneuverable.

Folding electric wheelchairs and travel wheelchairs that can be taken apart are also available, which are not as high performance as regular power chairs but are designed to be transported without a wheelchair lift.


For many, the wheelchair remains one of the most well-known and common types of mobility vehicles, providing a different service from that of something like a mobility scooter.
Wheelchairs have a rich history of innovation and are as common today as they were 100 years ago.

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Mr. Vincent

International Market Director of TOUSDA, Rehabilitation Therapy Products Experts, Son, Husband, and Father.
Passionate about providing high-quality rehabilitation therapy products, especially wheelchair, electric wheelchair, commode wheelchair, commode chair, mobility aids, walking aids, crutch, walking stick, etc., and share the latest news, tips, blogs, advice, knowledge about the medical industry field.
Excited about TOUSDA's mission to become the premier online medical technology platform that empowers caregivers by spotlighting innovative devices and products to achieve optimal patient response and recovery.


Notes: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care.
Always follow your health care professional’s instructions.

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