Recent Articles

Enhancing Rigidity in Folding Wheelchairs

25/04/2017

Rigidity in a manual wheelchair allows for greater efficiency of propulsion as the energy of propulsion is directed towards movement, rather than being lost in any flex in the wheelchair. There are numerous factors that can contribute to rigidity in a folding frame wheelchair, including the design of the cross-brace; the choice of seat saddle position in a modular frame wheelchair; the option of a fixed front end, particularly when combined with a flip-up platform; the use of a stabilizer bar; and the prescription of a firm back support.

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Maneuverability in Manual Wheelchairs - What Fork to Use?

22/09/2014

There are many factors that influence the maneuverability of manual wheelchairs and I previously have written articles on many of these factors.  Past articles have been written about rolling resistance, overall weight, centre of gravity and weight distribution between the front casters and rear wheels, caster housing position, rear wheel camber, and rear wheel position in standard wheelchairs.  All of these articles are available on Clinical Corner and can be found by using the Search feature in the upper right corner or looking through the tag cloud in the lower right. This month, I would like to focus on one simple choice that affects turning efficiency and performance and that is the choice of the fork in a custom, adjustable folding wheelchair.

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The Weight Factor of Manual Wheelchairs

12/08/2014

Previously, I have written about rolling resistance in manual wheelchairs and the many factors that contribute to resistance to rolling in a manual wheelchair.  These factors include the mass of the user and the mass of the system, the weight distribution between the front casters and the rear wheels, and the size and type of casters and tires selected, and the surface on which the wheelchair is used1.  For more information on rolling resistance in manual wheelchairs, please refer to the full blog post here.

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Front Caster Position in Manual Wheelchairs

23/05/2014

In a previous article, I wrote about the position of the rear wheels of a manual wheelchair and its effects on centre of gravity and weight distribution between the front casters and rear wheels.  This month, let’s focus on how the position of the front casters effects the load distribution between the rear wheels and front casters.

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Rolling Resistance in Manual Wheelchairs

25/04/2014

In a previous article, I spoke about rolling resistance in manual wheelchairs.  Let’s take a step back and look more closely at what is meant by the term “rolling resistance” and what factors contribute to the rolling resistance in a manual wheelchair.  Before we look at rolling resistance, let’s have a quick physics lesson

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Vertical Rear Wheel Position in Manual Wheelchairs

26/03/2014

​This month, let’s continue our focus on manual wheelchairs by looking at the effects of the vertical rear wheel position in manual wheelchairs.  Both standard and custom folding wheelchairs allow for vertical positioning of the rear wheels.  Positioning the rear wheel up or down the frame of a manual wheelchair will have effects on seat-to-floor height, orientation in space, and rear wheel access.

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Centre of Gravity and Manual Wheelchairs

14/01/2014

​Last month, I wrote an introductory article on the different types, or categories, of manual wheelchairs available.  This month, let’s focus on centre of gravity and its application to manual wheelchairs.

The position of the rear wheel on a manual wheelchair relative to the frame effects the position of the centre of gravity and will impact the performance of the wheelchair.  The graphics below illustrate the position of the rear wheel along the horizontal plane, which changes the weight distribution between the rear wheel and the front casters.

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Manual Mobility: The Basics

17/12/2013

​This month, let’s go back to the basics and look at the different types of manual wheelchairs available.  As I have written in a previous Clinical Corner article, funding agencies for mobility devices vary province by province in Canada and each agency has different criteria on who is eligible to receive a manual wheelchair and which type or category of manual wheelchair can be considered for a qualified individual.  Each province also has its own classification terms.  For example, a particular model of a manual wheelchair may be in a certain category in one province and a different category in another province.  This month’s article will look at generic classification of manual wheelchairs at an introductory level.  The categories of manual wheelchairs include transport, standard, custom folding, custom rigid, and dynamic tilt.  Let’s take a look at each one.

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Manual Wheelchair Prescription: Beginning with the Future in Mind

24/10/2013

In Canada, funding agencies for mobility devices vary province by province and each agency has different criteria by which a person may be eligible to receive a manual wheelchair and which type or category of manual wheelchair can be considered for a qualified individual. Therefore, it is difficult to make generalizations about funding programs, but, typically, funding sources consider funding the provision of a manual mobility device if a person is expected to require the device on a long-term basis (e.g., at least six months).  Please note that this is different from a temporary or short-term need, which is often accommodated through rental, which may be covered through a person’s extended health care benefits.  Thus, when looking at prescribing a mobility device for an individual for a long-term basis, therapists need to look at the future needs of the person.  Since funding cycles typically are a minimum of five years, therapists need to look ahead to anticipate a person’s future needs, in addition to immediate needs, to prescribe a mobility device that will work for an individual not only now, but also in the future.

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Handout Webinar Seating and Mobility Considerations Bariatric 2017

Handout Wheelchair Sports Webinar

Handout Tilt Recline Elevating Leg Supports Webinar 2017

Biometric Repositioning What is it and what is the evidence 2017

All about Specialty Controls Webinar

Handout - Transit Standards for Seating WCs and WC Tiedowns

Bariatric Measurement Chart

Measurement Chart

Seating Assessment Form

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