A person uses a wheelchair could be due to aging, accidents or injuries, amputations, or due to certain diseases. Some diseases that force patients to use a wheelchair include multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or osteoarthritis. Most wheelchair users more often use the upper body, especially the shoulders and arms. This will cause pressure or strain on the joints and muscles. So wheelchair users often experience shoulder pain. Therefore, you need to strengthen the back muscles and stretch the chest muscles by doing stretching exercises. As for the pressure in the butt, you may use some wheelchair cushions to reduce it.
Stretching exercises can be the best exercise choice for wheelchair users. This is done to build strength and increase patient movement. When performed with other treatments, this exercise can reduce pain and improve the fitness of wheelchair users.
Choice of stretching exercises for people who use wheelchairs
This stretching exercise is done to increase the strength, range of motion, and endurance of people who use wheelchairs. Here are some stretching exercise options you can do at home:
This movement provides a good stretch for the shoulder and chest muscles. This helps maintain shoulder mobility and upper extremities to reduce pain and injury.
How to do it:
- If it’s possible, release your wheelchair’s arm.
- Sit comfortably and stretch your arms wider than your shoulders while holding a broom or stick (as if you do a pull-up).
- Lift the broom over your head with both hands and straighten your arms.
- Pull your arms to the back until you are stretched.
- Hold this movement for 5 seconds, return to the starting position, and repeat it 10 times.
- Do it every day.
Compare Pros & Cons Wheelchair Cushions
- It is supportive and comfortable
- It comes in 13 adult sizes with anti-thrust shelf for postural support
- The medial thigh separator supports good posture and helps keep the legs parallel
- A lower height cushion
- Fluid-resistant cover option
- Its front contour may be a problem
- Its cover can be slippery
- This exercise is useful for strengthening the muscles of the back, upper arms and core. How to do it:
- Remove the arms of your wheelchair if it’s possible.
- Hang the resistance band on a strong pole or fence with a height that exceeds your sitting position.
Sit in front of the resistance band.
- Raise your hands and straighten them, slightly exceeding shoulder width.
- Pull the band tightly towards you and hold your elbows wide.
- Pull the band towards your chest, so that your back muscles feel pulled, then return to the starting position.
- Repeat this movement 15 times and rest 1 minute in 3 sets.
- Perform this movement once a day.
This exercise is not only useful for the arms and shoulders but also beneficial for your overall heart health and fitness. This exercise can also increase your heart rate and sweat.
This movement is almost the same as lat pull down, but move the band like pedaling a bicycle. Do it for 5-30 minutes. Take a break first if you feel sick or out of breath. Repeat this movement once a day.