Proper positioning when you’re seated is as important as proper positioning in bed. Whether you use a wheelchair or are at a desk for many hours or sit for long periods in any kind of chair, bad body mechanics and not having the proper support can create misalignments of the spine, back pain and pressure sores—potentially dangerous irritations due to contact between the body’s pressure points and the seat. This is where a chair cushion can more than pay for itself. You may need a seat cushion and/or a back cushion, depending on your chair and how long you are sitting at any given stretch.
Wheelchair or seat cushions improve your comfort level as well as guard against pressure sores from prolonged seating in one position. The right cushion will help keep you from tilting forward and make you more comfortable. Most effective cushions are between 3” and 4” thick and are covered with an easy to clean and durable fabric. There are different cushioning fill materials to choose from, including memory foam seat cushions and designs that can be adjusted to your personal comfort needs. Some, like the Hermell Foam Wheelchair Cushion are made of high quality polyurethane foam for consistent support, comfort and durability. Others, like the Geo-Matt Wheelchair Cushion with Vinyl Cover, are therapeutic seat cushions that provide pressure reduction and comfort thanks to individual cells that reduce shearing and cradle bony prominences.
New design advances combine two or more materials. The Skin Protection & Positioning Wheelchair Cushion By Drive is constructed of high resilient molded foam plus an inner liner membrane of bladders filled with a unique polymer for greater stretch characteristics to reduce pressure. The cover has 4-way stretch for optimum skin protection and a moisture-proof urethane backing. Skil-Care's Air-Foam Wheelchair Air Cushion is a new concept in pressure-adjustable air wheelchair cushions. It combines variable air pressure capability and high-density foam for optimal pressure redistribution. The air-quilt surface inflates or deflates (with the included air pump) to meet your personal pressure reduction requirements. The high-density foam base with an anti-slip bottom provides stability and comfort, and prevents bottoming out. The Low-Shear II outer cover protects against skin-damaging friction and wipes clean while the incontinent-proof vinyl inner cover prevents fluid contamination and also wipes clean.
Specialty shapes are another way to get a more customized cushion. For instance, the Saddle Wedge Wheelchair Cushion provides support, stability and pressure relief for the user who tends to thrust or slide forward. When used with a reclining back, it helps distribute pressure from the ischial areas to the back.
Back cushions are designed to keep your spine in its natural S-curve alignment, helping prevent backaches. A back cushion can be used on its own or in conjunction with a seat cushion, depending on your needs.
A fully supportive back cushion, like the High Back Support Posture Cushion by Obusforme, is extra long to support the shoulders and neck and increase comfort by aligning your spine and supporting correct posture. In contrast to traditional L-shaped chairs, the S-shaped frame of the Obusforme molds your spine into proper anatomical alignment. This cushion relaxes your muscles, leaving you more comfortable and energized. A special feature is the removable, adjustable lumbar support pad to provide additional comfort for the lower back. For extra lumbar support and comfort, Obusforme’s Lumbar Support Cushion with Massage enhances overall posture as it provides soothing massage.
Before deciding on any cushion, look carefully at its measurements and measure the chair you’ll be using it on to be certain the width and length work together. Many excellent chair cushions come in a few sizes, making it easier to get the one you want.