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Thread: Recline question

  1. #1
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Philadelphia, Pa

    Recline question

    Hi, I recently received a Permobil F3 with tilt, recline, and elevating footrests. This is the first time I've had a chair with recline. It was ordered with recline because I started having trouble voiding, and it was thought that reclining in my chair would be helpful. Now when I have the urge to urinate I recline my chair slightly, which thus far has been effective. However, after reclining I feel like I am slouched in my chair. Is there a way to avoid this?

  2. #2
    One of the big disadvantages of recline is that you tend to slide down in your chair. Try putting yourself into tilt first, then recline, as this will help prevent gravity from pulling you down as much.


  3. #3
    Since I will be getting my first power recline feature on my new chair, I have been reading about the pros and cons of recline and how the anti-sheer feature, which was supplied with your f3, should help. The key many be to setting up the wheelchair recline correctly for the individual user, i.e., back height and placement of the back. You may want to talk to your durable medical equipment supplier.

    I think the suggestion of tilting first and then reclining is a good one. It may also help to reverse that and go back into a tilt before sitting up.

    The Down-Side of Reclining

    There are a couple of problems with reclining a wheelchair. One is that when the back is reclined, forces are exerted on the user's sacrum called shearing and this shearing force can cause discomfort and skin breakdown fairly quickly. Another problem when a wheelchair user is reclined is the back of the user will side on the wheelchair back as they are lowered. So, if the user requires a moulded back support they will quickly be out of position and uncomfortable.
    Also, when the back is elevated back to it's original position, instead of the user sliding on the backrest again to return to their original position the back will actually try to push the user forward out of their seat leaving their positioning totally messed up. There is also the danger of triggering spasticity in the user when a wheelchair is reclined.

    Anti-Shear Backs

    Anti-shear or zero shear back supports are the solution to the problems associated with reclining a wheelchair backrest. This back support option slides up and down the back posts of the wheelchair when the user is being reclined or returning to upright. When set up properly, the anti-shear back will stay in contact with the user's back eliminating the shearing that would normally occur. The anti-shear back also has the benefit of allowing the use of contoured backrests.

    All the best,

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