There are a few misconceptions that seem to persist in the world of wheelchair seating and positioning. We’ve talked in the past about the elevating legrest misconception. Today we are taking a closer look at the misconceptions having to do with a wedge style cushion.
Will a wedge cushion keep my client from sliding out of the wheelchair?
NO! Sometimes a wedge cushion can make the problem worse. Here is what a wedge cushion actually does:
- Closes seat-to-back angle
- Pulls on tightened hamstring muscles, resulting in a posterior pelvic tilt and sliding forward
- Increases the risk of pressure injury development due to peak pressures on the ITs, sacrum, and coccyx that now rest directly on the incline of the wedge
What do I need to know about using a wedge cushion appropriately?
Since a wedge closes seat-to-back angle (STBA), it should not be used for:
- Someone who cannot tolerate a 90° or less STBA.
- Someone with tightened hamstrings.
A wedge would be better for use with:
- Someone with the goal of reducing extensor tone
- Someone with full ROM at the hips and knees
- Someone with long LEs to increase STFH
|* A wedge cushion is not the solution to sliding forward. Be a detective and find out WHY the patient is sliding forward, and this will lead you to the appropriate solution!|
Join us next week as we look at problems with sliding out of the wheelchair. In the meantime, our digital wheelchair seating and positioning can be found here.