Friday, May 27th, 2022

6 Different Types of Wheelchairs

The first wheelchair was invented in 1655, and since then, there have been numerous innovations in wheelchairs. They are one of the most used and popular disability aids. There are different types of wheelchairs catering to the different needs of its 65 million users. From a simple manual wheelchair to an electric one, the wheelchair has evolved according to people’s needs and disabilities. Let us know about a few different types of wheelchairs, their features, uses, advantages, etc. 

1. Manual Wheelchair

This wheelchair needs manual push-through wheels or from the back to use them. Users can propel the chair forward, backward, even in pivots by grabbing the handling provided around the wheels. And the caretaker can push the wheelchair by grabbing handles provided behind the backrest. 

A manual wheelchair is ideal for people who can operate the chairs independently. However, the con here is that they become fatigued while traveling a long-distance or even by moving around for a long period. And the constant use of this wheelchair may lead to hand and arm pains as they must constantly push the wheelchair by rolling the wheels through their hands.

2. Powered Wheelchair

This is an electric, battery-operated wheelchair that users can propel forward, backward, and pivot using controls. This wheelchair is popular among users as it provides easy and comfortable moving. Such a motorized wheelchair resolves the issue of pain that occurs by manual operating and fatigue. This wheelchair is useful for people with severe disabilities who cannot manage the rolling of wheels to move a manual wheelchair.

One of the cons of a powered wheelchair is that it is a bit heavier and bulkier than manual chairs. It also includes a battery and motor that you might have to change if damaged. 

3. Pediatric Wheelchair

These are specifically designed for children’s use. This category includes various kinds of wheelchairs like manual, powered, etc. The difference is in sizes as kids are going to use them. Thus, it is small in size for children so that they can use it easily. There is also a pediatric wheelchair designed to comfort kids with specific limitations. For example, adding extra cushioning on the footrest, elevating the height of the chair as per requirement, adding storage boxes, etc. These chairs provide comfort and independence to kids.

4. Positioning Wheelchair

This wheelchair is electric and battery-powered, used for assisting mobility assistance and accommodating different positions. These chairs offer the patients the ability to move into different positions on their wheelchair. There are also varieties available in a positioning wheelchair. There are positioning wheelchairs available where they can recline backward, raise, and lower the user’s feet and legs, or provide comfortable space in tilting the head.

These chairs are perfect for people with movement impairments as it promotes comfort and independence to them. One can have several health benefits by using an ideal positioning wheelchair. For instance, reclining and adjusting legs can help to have better blood circulation. It also avoids ulcers, sores, joint pain, etc. 

5. Sports Wheelchair

As the name suggests, this wheelchair is specifically for rugby, basketball, tennis, and racing players with limited mobility. This wheelchair comes in different shapes and sizes. These are mostly manual wheelchairs. Opportunities for wheelchair-bound people have significantly increased with the technological advancements of sports wheelchairs and the implementation of wheelchair sport itself. 

The standard sports wheelchair used mostly by basketball players has a slanted outward wheel design that helps the player to maintain a good balance while playing. Most chairs include smaller wheels beneath large wheels. The smaller wheels are known as caster wheels. These control maneuverability and are important to maintain a balance for the user. These two large wheels are main and important to provide stability to the player. And when we talk about sports, safety must be first, no matter what. Here too, the wheelchair provides extra protection for the player’s legs by adding extra cushioning and helps in avoiding injuries. Through this wheelchair, now sports-loving people do not have to sacrifice their interest or passion.

6. Standing Power Wheelchair

The human body needs to stand and move to stay fit. Thus, when people are not able to move, walk, or even stand, their health suffers. Here electric standing chairs can be helpful. This wheelchair includes modern science technologies. It allows the user to move from sitting to standing position automatically through motorized features. It has a motorized wheelbase that helps in safely giving mobility independence to users.

This wheelchair provides many health benefits to users having mobility impairments like – users can stand at will, helping in proper blood circulation. Additionally, it also provides independence and comfort of doing daily chores, reaching to the upper shelf, etc.


As you saw, there are different wheelchairs for different purposes. Here, you need to choose the disability aids that suit your requirements and assist your mobility limitations. For these, we would prefer to consult your physician before making any decision of investing in any wheelchair. Make sure you get comfort, independence, assistance, and safety in the wheelchair you choose.

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