Shoulder Injuries of Wheelchair Users

Shoulder Injuries of Wheelchair Users

Shoulder Injuries of Wheelchair Users

The use of manual wheelchairs requires the assistance of the user's upper limbs such as the shoulder joints. Relevant data show that a user who uses a wheelchair all day averages 2,000-3,000 pushes per day. Expanding this figure to a month, or even a year, would be staggering. For manual wheelchair users, the upper limbs need to perform a lot of repetitive motion in the process of pushing the wheelchair. During this process, the muscles and ligaments around the shoulder are constantly under pressure. When the load is too heavy or the use time is too long, it may cause damage to the soft tissues around the shoulder. This is why shoulder injuries so common on wheelchair users.


In addition to moving the wheelchair on a daily basis, activities such as transferring between the wheelchair and the bed also take a toll on the user's body. So, about how to protect the user's shoulder joints when using a wheelchair. We give the following suggestions.


1. A wheelchair with high strength, stable performance and lightweight materials seem to be the first choice.


2. Adjust the axis of the rear wheel as far forward as possible without affecting the stability of the wheelchair.


3. Pay attention to push posture. When the user puts his hand on the uppermost edge of the push ring of the wheelchair, the angle between the upper arm and the forearm should be between 100-120 degrees. Don't set your shoulders too high.


4. Pay attention to the rhythm when pushing, adopt a long and smooth pushing method, and avoid pushing with too much force. Also pay attention to the sitting posture when pushing, maintain stability and avoid overturning.


5. Do more stretching and strength training for the shoulder and neck, so as to obtain enough activity and strength to push the wheelchair.


6. Replace manual wheelchairs with electric wheelchairs.


Among manual wheelchair users, the incidence of repetitive use strain in the shoulder joint is as high as 70%. It is necessary to understand the relationship between wheelchair use and shoulder injuries in order to use manual wheelchairs scientifically and effectively.

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