In our first article on choosing the right wheelchair cushion we looked at the importance of tissue integrity. In this article we look at the importance of the seat cushion in making sure of the right posture by ensuring the pelvis is in a neutral position.

Thigh positioning

Is it important that sling seats are not allowed to bow over their life as this will bring the knees together and cause the femurs to move away from their natural 5 degrees of abduction when resting in the hip joint.

To avoid the sling bowing, fit a crescent infill, or a firm base under the cushion.

Pelvic positioning

The cushion needs to support and help control the side-to-side and rotational movement of the pelvis when it is sat in a chair. Similarly, to stop the pelvis sliding forward out of its natural position, a pre-ischial ridge, no more than 0.5cm in height, should be on the cushion.

To cope with an irregularly shaped pelvis, the cushion can be built-up more on one side, or reduced in height on the other.

Stability

As well as the factors above affecting the shape of the cushion, it is important that it is stable and supportive. This will allow the user to maintain a good posture, and so be able to carry out their normal day-to-day activities without suffering undue pain or discomfort.

This need for stability and support, has to be balanced with allowing for easy and smooth transfer, to and from the cushion, so may require some compromise in the final cushion specification.

In the final article we will look at the importance of functionality in the choice of your seat cushion.

Thanks to our seat partners BES Rehab for help in putting this article together.

For more info visit their Web site

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