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Disabilities: Wheelchair Gloves for the Active Wheelchair User  Previous

Wheelchair Gloves for the Active Wheelchair User

by: Dr Gene Emmer

The hands of a manual wheelchair owner hold tremendous power. They are ‘the engine’, ‘the steering’, and ‘the brakes’. They are the heart of a chair owner’s mobility. They also take a great deal of abuse. A wheelchair owner’s hands are exposed to constant friction and heat generated by pushing, stopping and turning. They are numbed and desensitized in cold and wet weather. Active and athletic owners are particularly vulnerable to the damage and irritation caused by constant use and exposure. In fact, At least 18% of all wheelchair users experience blisters, abrasions, and lacerations. Many more develop thick, rough calluses. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Wheelchair User's Enemy Even more importantly, according to studies performed by Dr H.Gellman and his team from Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in California, 49% of parapalegic patients showed signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, a potentially debilitating condition. Dr. Coopers and Dr. Robertson of California State University report, “Research in this area suggests that carpal tunnel syndrome may be the result of nerve compression which occurs during forceful exertions with the hand and wrist in hyperflexion or hyperextension. Repetitive strikes of the heel of the hand against the push rim may cause pain and numbness of the thumb and fingers.” Hands were simply not designed to withstand the repetitive impact and constant contact with wheelchair pushrims. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the effects of constant stress and exposure to the hands. Many researchers strongly recommend the use of properly designed wheelchair gloves to minimize hand injury. Wheelchair Gloves Can Provide Relief Properly designed wheelchair gloves can provide: • Protection against skin damage caused by starting, stopping and turning the wheelchair. • Protection against injury caused by vibrations and repeated impact. • Improved stopping and maneuverability • Comfort in cold or wet weather Unfortunately, many gloves marketed as “wheelchair gloves” fail. They fall apart under intense usage, or worse, are inappropriate for the lifestyles of their owners. The requirements of an athlete can be different from a moderately active person who is using a wheelchair in cold weather, while the needs of a person with limited hand function are different from those of a person who is experiencing a great deal of vibration or impact to the hand. It is important that every active wheelchair user protect their hands using quality wheelchair gloves which were designed for their specific need. An excellent example of well designed wheelchair gloves can be seen by clicking here.

Dr Gene Emmer is President of Med Services Europe GmbH, a Zurich, Switzerland registered company. In addition to RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves, we represent Colours Wheelchairs in Europe and the Middle East. We are seeking distributors and dealers for our products. Dealers are encouraged to contact us for more information at NewDisability or Med Services Europe or +41764249963.

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