You do not have to be completely debilitated by your arthritis and be unable to walk for a wheelchair to be beneficial. There are many types of wheelchairs, with various designs and features that are well suited to various arthritic conditions and lifestyles. The type that you select will depend on the severity of your condition and which joints are affected, among other considerations.
When Should You Use a Wheelchair?
It is understandable for patients to resist using a wheelchair, as they may view it as a sign of disability. However, this is the wrong way to look at things. A wheelchair can help to improve your standard of living and to enjoy many things that you would otherwise be unable to! If your arthritis is causing you to miss out on things that you enjoy doing, then you may want to use a wheelchair for these activities.
If you do get a wheelchair, remember that you do not need to use it all the time. Just use it for the activities that you need it for, or just on days when your pain is worse.
Types of Wheelchair
There are manual, self propelled and electric wheelchairs. In every class, there are many types and sizes available. If your body still has strength and range of motion, you may be able to use a manual wheelchair. If you are not strong enough for that, or you have arthritis in your hands, an electric wheelchair may be the best option.
You might prefer to use an electric wheelchair when moving around in public, and then use your manual chair at home. That way, you still need to move your affected joints somewhat, which can help to maintain some flexibility. And if you are using a manual wheelchair at home, the exercise for your arms will be beneficial.
Whichever type of wheelchair you select, there are many wheelchair accessories that will make life easier. The Wheelchair Backpack allows you to carry more things around with you, and Fleece Armrest Pouches provide you with more storage space right at your fingertips. The Universal Beverage Holder allows you to easily carry a drink as you move about in your wheelchair.
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