Manual Wheelchairs

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Traditional manual wheelchairs have consisted of tubular construction, sling seats and backs suspended from a horizontal and vertical cross brace folding mechanism, front casters and rear drive wheels with hand rims mounted on the rear vertical frame (Brubaker 1986). Advances in wheelchair technology have improved on this design to include features such as: rear wheel axle adjustment; use of aluminum, carbon fiber and titanium to reduce the weight and bulk of the wheelchair frame; hand rim technology to reduce vibrations transmitted to the user; transportability and transportation and; improved propulsion and training methods (DiGiovine et al. 2006). The articles in this section relate to the clinical aspects of the manual wheelchair that affect performance as it relates to function and injury prevention.