Wheelchair cushion

Anonymous

My fiance has suffered a brain aneurysm and is currently in rehab. He is beginning to make very good progress after months of complications, pain and set backs (his aneurysm happened December 24/98 and he underwent 3 brain surgeries within seven days). One of the biggest problems he has been facing recently is his inability to tolerate his wheelchair for over an hour because of coccyx pain. He must be able to sit in his chair at least 5 hours to participate in a day program after his inpatient release. His therapists have tried various cushions to no avail. He does well when he sits on the edge of his hospital bed (it is a pressure relief air mattress).

Before I invest in a similar air cushion (these cost $300-400) that I'm not sure will work--- I wanted to see if anyone has had particular success with a specific kind of cushion. I found a variety of cushions on the internet with holes or spaces cut out that people claim work very well (for much less cost). Any suggestions from anyone would be appreciated.

Reply from Jon Miles:

People vary in what is most comfortable for them, so you will probably need to experiment. You can do this by buying foam and cutting it yourself, as described in the tip from a teacher. Also the wedge cushions and ring cushions given on the Coping page are much cheaper than the cushion you mention, so they are worth trying.

One problem with wheelchairs is that the seat is usually not rigid, and will curve down when you sit in it. This pushes the buttocks together, making the coccyx pain worse. I know of two solutions to this problem - the first is to put a rigid board underneath the cushion. The second is to buy a coccyx cushion which is curved underneath to compensate for the curve of the seat.

Updated 1999-09-11

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