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Thread: Wheelchair backrests

  1. #1
    Senior Member Fragile's Avatar
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    Wheelchair backrests

    Can somebody recommend a backrest? Quadriplegic, C-5. Right now I have a Permobil with the Corpus seating. I had developed some pain in my lower back, so I put in some inserts that came with it that fit in the lower back at the lumbar area. Got rid of the back pain, but developed a pressure sore. I think the inserts are a little bit too firm, and the cushion itself too thin. I should be eligible for a new chair this summer, the wheelchair tech who did my evaluation 5 years ago told me some of his clients had been using air filled backrests from Comfort Company. They look nice, but I need something with more lateral support. The swing away lateral supports get in the way too much. I like the plastic wedges that fit in the sides at the lower back on the Corpus.

    Does anybody use the deep contour made by Jay? Do they have adequate padding at the lower back? In the pictures, it looks like there is a wedge that can be put in the lower back for lumbar support, how soft/comfortable is it?

    Can someone recommend any other deep contour backrests?

  2. #2
    I just took delivery on a Permobil m300 with a Roho Agility back system. I got the mid contour, however they do have a deep contour in the product line. The Roho Agility backs have a Roho inflatable insert down the center back of the system, 3 cells across and 5 cells down. The deep contour cushion has inflatable supports on the sides for stability. You can see all the models here: https://roho.com/category/products/w...y-back-system/

    I've used the cushion for about 3 weeks, and the reddish spots that I would have on my back after a day in the chair are gone. It is a comfortable cushion.

    I used the Jay 2 deep contour for a number of years. My complaint about the Jay 2 is the foam gets hard quickly and since I'm quite thin, I was having trouble with pressure on my spine. The other thing that bothered me about the Jay 2 was that as the foam aged it turned from a yellowish color to what looked to me like mold. If it was mold, not very healthy to use. See photo below. Medicare insists on replacing the shell, cushion and cover instead of components. For self pay, the individual components are pretty expensive mid Medicare replacement cycle.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #3
    I have a Jay Focus Point. I love it. Huge side wings to keep me fully supported, and comfortable. It hasn't aged yet as I've had the Deep Contour back do when I had it on my old power chair.
    Samantha

  4. #4
    Senior Member Fragile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 50surgeries2012 View Post
    I have a Jay Focus Point. I love it. Huge side wings to keep me fully supported, and comfortable. It hasn't aged yet as I've had the Deep Contour back do when I had it on my old power chair.
    How does the cushioning/support of the lower back on the Jay focus point compare to that of the Deep Contour? Is it thicker?

  5. #5
    If you have an older Permobil then your options for an aftermarket back are nil. One DME rep said it can be done on the C 300, but it's not so simple and is probably expensive. Plus Medicare will probably not make that kind of investment on an older chair. Therefore if you are eligible for a new chair then you have more options. The new Permobil as a choice of 4 aftermarket backs. However, it requires selection upfront to get the correct back seating frame to allow for these backs. If you already have a new Permobil you will have to do battle to get this modification, which will require modification of the seating system. Most importantly, the order form specifically says that if you go with any of the aftermarket backs you may lose seat depth, possibly as much as 2 inches. If your front to back depth cannot accommodate this potential loss of depth this you are in for additional problems.

    I fully sympathize with your issues. I have had nothing but pain for the last 5 1/2 years with the back of my C 300. I do not have the same pain sitting in other chairs. It is about time that Permobil allowed for improved backs on their chairs. In my opinion, it was a huge weakness in what is an otherwise good chair.

    One last thing, good luck trying to demo a Permobil with an aftermarket back. It is hard enough trying to demo the power chair that is somewhat close to what you will get, much less trying to get a demo with the modified back frame and the desired back to try. Most dealers will try to push the order through without getting a demo set up to try the backs.

    Let us know how you pursue the issue and how it turns out.

  6. #6
    If you have an older Permobil then your options for an aftermarket back are nil. One DME rep said it can be done on the C 300, but it's not so simple and is probably expensive. Plus Medicare will probably not make that kind of investment on an older chair. Therefore if you are eligible for a new chair then you have more options. The new Permobil as a choice of 4 aftermarket backs. However, it requires selection upfront to get the correct back seating frame to allow for these backs. If you already have a new Permobil you will have to do battle to get this modification, which will require modification of the seating system. Most importantly, the order form specifically says that if you go with any of the aftermarket backs you may lose seat depth, possibly as much as 2 inches. If your front to back depth cannot accommodate this potential loss of depth this you are in for additional problems.

    I fully sympathize with your issues. I have had nothing but pain for the last 5 1/2 years with the back of my C 300. I do not have the same pain sitting in other chairs. It is about time that Permobil allowed for improved backs on their chairs. In my opinion, it was a huge weakness in what is an otherwise good chair.

    One last thing, good luck trying to demo a Permobil with an aftermarket back. It is hard enough trying to demo the power chair that is somewhat close to what you will get, much less trying to get a demo with the modified back frame and the desired back to try. Most dealers will try to push the order through without getting a demo set up to try the backs.

    Let us know how you pursue the issue and how it turns out.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by crags View Post
    One last thing, good luck trying to demo a Permobil with an aftermarket back. It is hard enough trying to demo the power chair that is somewhat close to what you will get, much less trying to get a demo with the modified back frame and the desired back to try. Most dealers will try to push the order through without getting a demo set up to try the backs.
    When I wanted to try the Roho Agility backs, I contacted Permobil/Roho (Roho is owned by Permobil) directly and asked to be put in contact with an area Permobil representative. She was very helpful in putting together a demo chair that was as close as possible to my needs. She made sure it was available to me through my dealer. The demo wasn't perfect, but it gave me a good feel for the products. I'm sure Permobil was this accommodating because of the corporate affiliation with Roho.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Fragile's Avatar
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    Thank you, I figured I would have to wait until I'm eligible for a new chair, I think about 6 months. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Roho Agility back. I'm hoping I can get the wheelchair tech who does the assessment to bring with him/her a demo of different backs, without them being attached to a chair so I can at least see what the contour is like on each of them. I'm not sure if they do this or not.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Fragile View Post
    Thank you, I figured I would have to wait until I'm eligible for a new chair, I think about 6 months. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Roho Agility back. I'm hoping I can get the wheelchair tech who does the assessment to bring with him/her a demo of different backs, without them being attached to a chair so I can at least see what the contour is like on each of them. I'm not sure if they do this or not.
    Medicare and many private pay insurance companies are requiring that an occupational or physical therapist do the seating evaluation for the purpose of justifying the class power chair you need. In my case the durable medical supplier had a representative at the seating evaluation to access the type of equipment needed. If you are interested in another Permobil chair you might want to check out this thread:
    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthr...M300-Corpus-G3

    There is quite a bit of recent discussion about the Permobil m300 (mid wheel drive) and f3 & f5 (redesigned f300 & f500 front wheel drive) on this thread. By the way, Permobil is discontinuing the m300 and will be introducing the m3 sometime in 2017.
    Last edited by gjnl; 01-06-2017 at 12:35 PM.

  10. #10
    In my opinion, the best available choices in addition to the Roho back would be the Invacare matrix elite or the J3. The Invacare back looks good, offering a variety of depths for wraparound lateral support and a number of other configuration options.

    I was eligible for a new chair in may, was told I can't get into the seating clinic until September and didn't get the correct demos until October/November and now was told I have to wait until January (one must assume the end of) to get a chair outfitted with the desired back(s) for demo.

    With an increase of 1 inch seat the floor height of the F3 (18.5) over my old C 300 (17.5) I am thinking of not getting the elevator in the new chair. I don't use it much and is going to make driving and other things more difficult.

    For those of you thinking of getting the anterior tilt, if you want to ten degrees, you must get the elevator puts you back up to 18.5. For those that just want 5? you can get that at 17.5, the lowest you can go with the F3.

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