Introduction of Wheelchair Skills
Handling rough terrain curbs potholes and other obstacles in a wheelchair may seem impossible when you first start using a wheelchair. But it can be done buy use the wheelie. A wheelie is a method of lifting your front wheels off the grounds. Its an essential skill for being able to independently navigate many situations and conditions in a manual wheelchair.
The top three wheelie foundation techniques are the wheelie in place wheelie pop up and forward wheelie. They will equip you for handling a majority of the terrains that you will encounter. Before you start learning any new wheelchair skill, you will need a proper wheelchair fit and set up and a skilled spotter to prevent your wheelchair from flipping over while you learn wheelies a fall from a wheelchair can cause serious injury or even death.
A physical or occupational therapist with expertise in wheelchair seating can help you get customized wheelchair fit and teach you how to adopt wheelie skills to your ability level to find a therapist with this expertise search for a seating specialist or spinal cord injury specialist. The spotter role is to prevent the wheelchair user from falling.
You and the wheelchair use must communicate clearly before and during all techniques. make sure you are both ready before start a wheelie and talk through each step as you go. Do not let go or step away from the wheelchair until you have coordinated this with the user. Place a study strap, such as a gait belt on the bar behind the wheelchair backrest and grasp firmly with one hand.
If the user has anti-tippers or wheelie bars to prevent wheelies. You will need to remove them during wheelie practice. Stand closed in a lunge position behind the wheelchair so that you can block the wheelchair from tipping back with your body as well as the strap. Keep a hand free to grasp the user shoulder if it looks like the user might fall forward when either of you need to take a break. Immediately replace the anti-tippers or remove the strap.
Edit from UWSpinalCordInjury