The fine line between maintaining your independence and mobility includes the risk of developing pressure ulcers for those who use wheelchairs daily. Pressure sores may seem like a minor problem, but they can lead to serious health issues down the road. These can be difficult to heal and can lead to serious infection over time. As someone who uses a wheelchair daily, I may be able to help you find the best way to deal with them and avoid them altogether.
I’m sure you have heard the term pressure sores or ulcers, but do you understand what they are and what causes them? A pressure sore or ulcer is simply damaged skin from being in one position for too long due to limited mobility. These commonly occur in areas that are bony and don’t have a lot of excess tissue in the area (i.e. heels, elbows, and your backside). There are four main issues that can cause these types of injuries and they include:
These types of injuries can be difficult to heal but can be avoided by a variety of treatments such as proper skin hygiene, shifting positions regularly, and utilizing medical aids that alleviate pressure points.
Once you understand what causes a pressure sore, the next logical step is finding a way to make sure you avoid them. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Not so fast!! Once a sore or ulcer becomes advanced it can be significantly more difficult to treat so early intervention is crucial to avoid potential infection. Yes, many of these products are common sense and are readily available, but there are some you may not know about that are much more efficient in preventing pressure sores. They can include:
|Essential Medical Rehab 1 Wheelchair Foam Cushion
||ROHO Mosaic Air Cushion
|Drive Silver Sport 2 Dual Axle Wheelchair
||Medline Excel Reclining Wheelchair
|Oppo Silicone Heel Cushions
||Steady Step Sol Step Gel Heel Pad
|Action Products Heel and Elbow Pad
||Advanced Orthopaedics Heel Elbow Protector
|Bilt-Rite Black Wheelchair Back Cushion
||Invacare Matrx MX1 Back Wheelchair Cushion
|Complete Medical Soft N Plush Natural Sheepskin Pad
||Sheepskin Sofsheep Genuine Sheepskin Pad
|Medline Caring Body Lotion
||Beiersdorf Eucerin Advanced Repair Skin Lotion
Just by using or having some of these medical aids is not the total answer. By being diligent in shifting your position (if possible) and maintaining proper skin hygiene is crucially important in making sure our largest organ, the skin, is given the best hope. Work with your physical therapist to find the best method for avoiding pressure sores and be sure to be compliant!!
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Hi there, my name is Kevin Cleary. I was born in Westchester County in 1966 on December 3. I lived there until 1973 when my family moved. I graduated from high school in 1984 and then attended college in New ...
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