Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs can be very basic or can be designed with highly advanced, specialized features. Manual wheelchairs are divided into four basic categories; folding, rigid, positioning and sports wheelchairs.

  • offer a high level of adjustability, and can accept all types of seating systems, footrests and arms
  • designed for portability and are effective for travel and storage
  • choice of either steel or aluminum construction
  • footrests are removable, as well as arms and wheels on some models
  • a great choice for the more dependent user who does not need maximum efficiency in propulsion
  • they are generally heavier than rigid chairs due to folding cross-braces

Rigid Wheelchairs

  • eliminates the flex associated with a folding manual wheelchair and offers a higher level of performance
  • lighter weight - can be made with steel, aluminum or even titanium
  • footrests can be fixed or removable but the frame itself is fixed which means the wheels must be removed and the back folded down to allow for transport in a typical vehicle
  • wide range of seating systems available
  • the choice of the full-time independent user due to their high efficiency

Positioning Wheelchairs

  • commonly known as tilt wheelchairs, they address specific needs no other wheelchair style can do effectively
  • pressure reduction - allows for frequent changes in position reducing the occurrence of pressure sores
  • positioning - users with a kyphosis (forward curve in the upper spine) constantly face the floor when seated upright but can see better when tilted back
  • support - minimizes the need for many restraints and extra supports

Sports Wheelchairs

  • similar to rigid wheelchairs, but have features that make them more effective for playing sports
  • added features such as optional wheel camber angles and offensive/defensive wings, to full-out racing machines
  • can be specialized for basketball, quad rugby, tennis, track, marathon and more
  • hand cycle can be added to an existing chair or purchased as part of a stand-alone chair