Health & Fitness

The Different Types of Wheelchairs Explained

There are around 2.7 million wheelchair users in the United States—and this number is expected to grow in the future. Wheelchairs have evolved over the years and cater to a wider variety of injuries and use cases.

There are several types of wheelchairs beyond the traditional type most people think of. This helpful guide covers the different types of wheelchairs and their benefits.

What Are the Different Types of Wheelchairs?

Wheelchairs are either standard or lightweight, and some have extra features that help improve the quality of life for their users. Take a look at these wheelchair options to narrow down your choices.

Manual Wheelchairs

Manual wheelchairs are powered by the strength of the user. Users must use their own strength to rotate the wheels on their own.

These types of wheelchairs may come in foldable versions for easy transport. Manual chairs are more cost-effective than other types of wheelchairs but aren’t as convenient as powered chairs.

Powered Wheelchairs

Powered wheelchairs are motor-operated and controlled by the user. These are ideal for those with severe mobility loss because they’re much easier to control than manual chairs.

Powered wheelchairs come with basic controls that help maneuver the user forward and backward. Some even offer speech or body alignment controls.

All-Terrain Wheelchairs

All-terrain wheelchairs come in powered or manual versions. Both versions are well-equipped to handle rough terrain.

These chairs are perfect for individuals who love spending time outdoors. This is because the wheels are specially-built to handle terrain that normal wheelchairs can’t.

Sports Wheelchairs

Sports wheelchairs come equipped with special tilted wheels that make it easier to turn and maneuver quickly. These chairs differ based on the sport they were created for, but they all provide movement improvements.

Slanted wheels are better for quick turns and give the user more balance. These chairs also offer extra protection for high-contact sports for the user’s arms and legs.

Which Wheelchair Is Right for Me?

Getting a wheelchair that’s perfect for your lifestyle involves figuring out your specific wants and needs. First, ask your doctor about which wheelchair is most recommended for you. Then, consider the benefits of each wheelchair type and determine which type benefits your daily lifestyle the most.

If you need a wheelchair for a while, consider getting several wheelchairs to suit your different needs. You may also want to invest in a wheelchair-accessible vehicle to ease the burden of traveling with one or several bulky wheelchairs.

Now that you know which wheelchair you need, it’s time to do some extra research and look at this review to ensure you invest in a high-quality chair.

The Next Steps for Wheelchair Users

Knowing the different types of wheelchairs is the first step towards getting one that’s perfect for your lifestyle. A high-quality chair will make your daily mobility more seamless and less frustrating. Plus, you’ll rest assured knowing you purchased a wheelchair that is well-suited for your situation.

If you’re searching for more helpful guides, take a look at the rest of our website. We post helpful tips about health, finances, and more.