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By Disabled People for Disabled People

Wednesday, 16 August, 2023

Let’s Get It Clear: Managing the upper extremities of a seated person – THIIS

Over the years engineers have made a steady progression in improving wheelchairs and their accessories to the benefit of their occupants. Improvements have been made in reducing the weight of components, and increasing the adaptability of components. Postural support devices for positioning the pelvis, the lower extremities, the trunk, and the head have been developed to improve the occupant’s functionality. The area that has been previously overlooked has been around the management of the upper extremities, but this has now been tackled, as covered in this article.

Despite progress in many aspects of wheelchair development, an area that has had little attention has been the facilitation of the use and the preservation of function of our upper extremities. Not only this, often back supports restrict our shoulder blades from behind, while chest or shoulder harnesses can heavily restrict movement from the front.

Overall, we are trying to achieve the balance of postural management with facilitating functional activity. For day-to-day functionality, the use of our hands and upper extremities can be critical. But what has been available to facilitate this?

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