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Wheelchair Back Cushion / Wheelchair Lumbar Support

Some users require additional rear and posture support, and often, wheelchair back cushions are purchased for this very purpose. Although some electric wheelchairs and other chairs come with a captain’s seat that provides such support, many manual and transport wheelchairs prove insufficient in this area. AvaCare Medical has the seat and back cushions for wheelchairs that you need to provide that support and increase your comfort! Read more...

Types of Wheelchair Back Cushions

Many styles are available when it comes to wheelchair back support. Some of these wheelchair seat cushions are specially-made wheelchair lumbar support cushions. They are constructed of various materials, and they come in different shapes and sizes.

Materials

The type of materials that are needed in a particular product depends largely on a user’s needs. A user may even need additional materials depending on what kind of postural alignment needs or general disabilities he has. This is why posture support needs to be carefully considered. Popular materials that back cushions are made out of are:

  • Masonite and Foam: Many back cushions must have a solid surface on which the cushion is placed, in order to provide more stability and positioning assistance. These materials are very popular with some models of back cushions which are primarily for lumbar support, such as Drive Medical’s Extreme Comfort Back Cushions
  • Gel: While this isn’t as popular of a back cushion material as it is in wheelchair seat cushions, gel is still sometimes used in conjunction with foam or air in order to provide both cooling and comfort advantages. They cushion the user’s back from the actual board or back cushion itself. Many times, gel-style pads act as a thin liner on top of the other materials.
  • Air: Air cushions are often used in lumbar support scenarios. These specially crafted foam cushions have an air sack in the lumbar region that can be inflated to the correct firmness in order to improve posture and cause the user’s lumbar region to be aligned forward. 
  • Foam: Many back cushions contain memory foam, which helps them contour to a user’s body, while still providing exceptional back support. Other types aren’t actually memory foam but are simply made of high-grade dense foam. For firmer types, the foam used is simply a harder type of foam.


Styles of Back Cushions

When choosing the type of wheelchair back support cushion that is needed, a user should also consider which style is best for his needs. It may seem confusing at first because there are so many options, but the user needs to figure out whether the posture correction needs to be done from the hips, the upper spine, or the lumbar region. The type of support that is needed often determines the type and style of wheelchair cushion that is best suited for posture correction and relief. Some common types of back cushions are:

  • Lumbar cushions: Lumbar cushions, as mentioned earlier, are a convex (meaning curving outward) style cushion that is meant to help increase lumbar support and posture. It can also provide correction for slouching and can enhance comfort.
  • Wedge Cushions: Wedge cushions are another common type which is generally seen in foam cushions. While they may be more commonly used as seat cushions, they are meant to help users who need mild posture correction.
  • Adjustable Air Cushions: Air cushions have adjustable pressure cells. Their firmness setting allows them to contour to a person’s body the way they need to. Some air cushions are designed strictly for back support and lumbar support, so they have longer air cells in order to be firmer in those regions. They are often higher priced and do require a little more maintenance, though.
  • Ergo Cushions: Ergonomic cushions and wedges may or may not offer lumbar support. Either way, many times, when they are firmer, they have special pressure point spots on them. This helps to stimulate the circulation of blood while they also offer the ability to have “air pockets” that can help a user keep cool and let their back breathe for maximum comfort. These are primarily used as back cushions.
  • Therapeutic Cushions: Therapeutic foam is made of memory foam and is often designed to be a dual-function cushion, meaning that they can be used for back and seats, alike. Many people like captain’s seats when it comes to wheelchairs and comfort because this type of cushion can actually help a user improve posture and provide a comfortable seating arrangement that is similar to a captain’s seat.
  • Bucket-style back Cushions: While they’re not often called “bucket seats” in the medical industry, they are quite popular. These backrests are made with deep-back concave shapes in order to envelope the user while giving them some additional comfort and cushioning via their foam padding.

How to Choose the Right Back Cushion

This is a very popular research item because many users want to find the perfect back cushion. The truth is, there isn’t necessarily one perfect cushion that does it all for every person. For this very reason, there is such a wide variety. Here at AvaCare Medical, we are extremely proud to have an inventory of the highest-rated brands in the medical industry in America. The determining factor is what a user actually needs the cushion for; this determines the right model needed. Unlike seat cushions, many back cushions are essentially universal, so a person may not need to know the seat depth. Width, however, remains crucial to consider when purchasing a back cushion. 

Most back cushions are made with many user needs in mind, and they are initially wide enough to fit even the smaller wheelchair models. They can therefore be used basically by anyone. There are actually a lot of people who use wheelchair back support cushions in their everyday life instead of in wheelchairs, such as at the office, or in their home chairs, and even in their cars!

If you want to find the right wheelchair back cushion for you, we’re here to help! Give us a call toll-free at 1-877-813-7799 during business hours and be sure you read our Wheelchair Comfort Guide for additional information. You can also send an email anytime!