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Should I Use A Wheelchair? 8 Signs You Might Need One + How to Choose

By Maurice

Should I Use A Wheelchair

When is it time to get a wheelchair?

There are many signs and symptoms that tell you it’s time to start using a wheelchair, but even then, not many people know when they have to start relying on a wheelchair for assistance.

For instance, if you suffer from a debilitating injury or chronic pain in your back or legs, you might find yourself in search of wheelchair assistance. That’s a clear sign you do need this assistive mobility device. However, there are instances in which it might be unclear, and you find yourself wondering, should I use a wheelchair?

To help narrow it down for you, we’ve listed some common signs that suggest it’s time to choose a wheelchair.

Mobility Issues – Difficulty Getting Around

A lot of factors can decrease a person’s mobility. These include foot problems, weak muscles, and poor balance, to name a few. If you happen to be experiencing any of these issues and feel that you have trouble getting around, perhaps, you need wheelchair assistance.

An important thing to consider here is how much you are struggling on a daily basis. If walking is a painful act and you aren’t able to move around whether at home or in public, there’s no reason to cause yourself more pain when a wheelchair can help relieve you from mobility issues.

While you should definitely consult your doctor on such matters as it’s possible that your issue is treatable with a little physical therapy, it’s best to take immediate action.

Chronic Pain

Arthritis is one of the most commonly experienced conditions that lead to inflammation in the joints, stiffness, and joint pain.

If it’s not treated well in time, it can cause severe pain in other areas of the body as well, such as the hips and knees. Moving around can become quite a challenge in such a situation, and over time, it tends to transform into chronic pain.

However, a wheelchair is an ideal solution if you are dealing with chronic, and it can help give your joints the much-deserved rest in order to prevent the joint pain from flaring up.

Injury or Accident

Accidents are unpredictable, and they often come without any warning. In most cases, they lead to limited mobility, making it difficult for the person to walk and maintain their balance.

For instance, incidents like tripping down the stairs, twisting your ankle, or falling down while running can lead to mobility issues, and in case of an injury, it’s time to use a wheelchair.

While you might not have to rely on this mobility device at all times, investing in one can prove to be quite useful as it can help you move around on those days when you find it hard to walk or maintain balance.

Medical Conditions

There are so many types of leg and knee medical conditions that severely affect the region between the ankles and the hips. Some of these conditions make it extremely hard for you to move your entire body, let alone your legs.

Some examples of these medical conditions include ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear, broken leg, knee sprain, MCL tear, shin splints, dislocated kneecap, and knee arthritis, among many others.

When dealing with either of these conditions, having a wheelchair can make things super easy till you are perfectly recovered and are able to move around without needing a mobility aid.

Avoidance of Social Interactions

Last but not least, if you find yourself avoiding social interactions due to low mobility or balance issues, it’s time to get a wheelchair!

While it’s unfortunate for one to have to use a wheelchair, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. Many people often tend to withdraw from social events and occasions either due to physical exhaustion or to avoid the risk of injury.

In such situations, a wheelchair is just the mobility aid you need in order to help restore your freedom. The transition might be a tad difficult, but know that there are many user-friendly and functional wheelchairs out there to help you move around on different types of surfaces.

How to Choose a Wheelchair

Usability and design are two factors that you need to consider when finding the best wheelchair for your situation. These factors vary from one wheelchair to the other, as there are manual wheelchairs as well as electric ones.

Your doctor or medical professional will typically suggest a wheelchair model for you based on the following elements:

  • Physical condition
  • Strength
  • Body size
  • Age
  • Mobility
  • Personal preferences
  • Budget
  • Requirement

Consult A Medical Professional

If you don’t feel as physically active as you once used to, if walking long distances has become tiresome for you, and if you have begun to feel exhausted more frequently, using a wheelchair can help you in more ways than one.

It is best to consult a medical professional and get their advice on what should be done in such cases. A wheelchair is a temporary solution to give your body a break or space to relax and relieve it off physical exhaustion. Not only that, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, and a wheelchair is the best way to go about it.

The same applies in case of a physical injury, musculoskeletal, and neurological issues as well. A wheelchair can do wonders, and the best part is that thanks to technological advancements, there are many updated versions of wheelchairs that come with automatic features.

So, if you ever find yourself wondering, ‘should I use a wheelchair,’ you must take immediate action and consult a doctor so that they can guide you better on what is the best course of action.

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