If you happen to like the idea of independence, then a manual wheelchair can definitely provide you with a certain degree of that. Pushing the rims of the rear wheels propels it either forward or backward. Some variations also have push handles that another person may use to set the wheelchair in motion.
The price for a manual wheelchair may vary based on the material it is made from, as well as the brand. You can get one that is made of steel, titanium, aluminum, or carbon fiber at a price range of $200 to $4,000.
Among the many variations of manual wheelchairs, four types are commonly identified and used: the rigid frame, the folding frame, the tilting/reclining, and the sports wheelchairs.
Rigid Frame Manual Wheelchair
This type of manual wheelchair is made of a rigid square frame and is apparently sturdier in comparison to its foldable alternative. Even though the main frame is inflexible, the backrest may fold down for trouble-free transport or storage. A number of options for wheelchair parts (e.g. armrest, footplate) also exist in the market – as with the folding frame version.
Self-propelling and active individuals usually opt for the rigid frame variety because of its strength and durability. These individuals are typically between the ages of 5 and 50. In addition, they don’t consider their wheelchairs as merely a piece of furniture. Instead, they see it as an extension of their body.
Folding Frame Manual Wheelchair
As the name implies, it can be folded when not in use, as well as for storage and transport purposes. It is currently the most popular kind of manual wheelchair in the market. The rear wheels are large, while the front wheels are visibly smaller. This design is intended for self-propulsion.
Individuals who are very young (0 to 4 years old) or very old (60 to 90), who lack upper body strength, and who have low degrees of independence are deemed to be appropriate candidates for folding frame wheelchairs. The evident deficiency in coordination and vigor makes it difficult for these people to autonomously carry out daily routines. As a matter of fact, its foldable feature is designed for the comfort of the caregiver or attendant.
Tilting/Reclining Manual Wheelchair
Persons who require positional changes all throughout the day normally choose this type of wheelchair. The backrest – or the backrest and seat – may be tilted or reclined either by manual or electrical adjustment. Powered units make it possible for the wheelchair occupant to independently change positions. On the other hand, the manual system draws in the help of an attendant or a caregiver. You may purchase this type of manual wheelchair in both rigid and folding versions.
Manual Sports Wheelchair
A manual sports wheelchair is usually lightweight yet sturdy, and is devised to promote optimum involvement in particular sports like racing or basketball. Then again, various sports call for different types of wheelchairs. For that reason, a lot of wheelchair-bound athletes prefer to have their ride customized so as to meet their specific athletic needs and boost their performance at play.