When it comes to full-time wheelchair use, the one aspect we all have in common is pressure management. There’s a misguided notion that some of us are at risk of pressure sores (decubitus ulcers), while others of us are not. The fact is, full-time wheelers are all at risk for pressure sores. Approximately 75 percent of our body weight is concentrated on our buttocks when seated — a region that isn’t physiologically designed to sustain that static weight for extended periods. As a result, we all have to routinely adjust positioning to reduce concentrated pressure in order to lower our risks of pressure sores.
For low-risk individuals — and a lot of factors contribute, from natural movement to hydration to moisture control to age — pressure management is an intuitive process. However, for those at higher risk, most commonly due to a lower sensation level, declining skin elasticity and difficulty performing weight shifts — pressure management is a far more vital, complex subject. Therefore the question becomes, what are among the most innovative, effective seating solutions that ensure better pressure management for advanced needs?