How a Reclining Back Wheelchair Can Help in Raleigh

How a Reclining Back Wheelchair Can Help in Raleigh

Did you know that over three and a half million people in the United States use a wheelchair? This statistic includes anyone over the age of 15. However, the number of people needing a wheelchair over the age of 65 increases to over five percent.

A reclining back wheelchair is a feature on many manual and power wheelchairs that provides a great benefit for you or your loved one in Raleigh. Finding the right wheelchair is critical to someone’s mobility, health, and well-being.

Learn more about why a reclining wheelchair can be helpful for anyone that could use a little more comfort and mobility in their lives.

Manual vs. Power Wheelchair

You have probably seen a variety of wheelchairs in hospitals, on the street, or in your own life. There are two broad classifications of wheelchairs: manual or power.

When you break it down, a manual chair is not maneuvered by a motor. Some manual chairs are lightweight and designed to be easily manipulated by the user with their arms. Other manual chairs are larger and more cumbersome (they can also sport reclining wheelchair benefits) but are designed for others to push.

A power wheelchair uses a motor that can be operated by either someone else or the user. Typically, there is a control panel on one of the armrests of the wheelchair that allows for different modes, speeds, and other settings.

As you can imagine, a power wheelchair is more complicated and has more technology involved than a manual wheelchair. As such, it results in a higher cost. Additionally, a power wheelchair often provides more benefits for customization of tilt and recline.

Reclining Back Wheelchair

Not all wheelchairs are designed to recline or tilt in space. Some people don’t need them, or they don’t qualify for the feature through their insurance, and therefore don’t want to pay for the cost.

So, what is the benefit of a tilting wheelchair? A person can transition to a wheelchair either over time or from an acute injury. Sometimes a person remains there for the rest of their life, and others may only need it temporarily. To necessitate a wheelchair, someone’s mobility needs to be impaired.

This means it is too difficult to manage walking around Raleigh without the help of an assistive device or durable medication equipment. On other occasions, someone might be restricted in their weight-bearing status and require a wheelchair.

When you opt for a reclining feature in a wheelchair, either you or someone else can recline the backrest to a position that resembles a reclining chair or a partially laying down position. Reclining is different than a tilt in a space chair.

A tilt in space wheelchair, more commonly seen in high-end power wheelchairs, requires a certain mechanism that can tilt both the seat and backrest. It often incorporates a recline feature and elevating leg rests.

This type of chair is frequently used with high-level spinal cord patients. A reclining chair, without the tilt feature, can still be a benefit for patients who have significantly impaired mobility and are unable to stand or transfer often.


Reclining wheelchair benefits include pressure relief and change in positions. When someone has impaired mobility, they are more at risk of developing pressure sores.

You might be more familiar with the term bed sores, and a pressure sore is essentially the same thing. Whenever pressure builds up in one area of the body then you can develop a sore. When this happens, the skin, muscles, or tissues are damaged in that region.

Throughout the day, most people are able to move around and shift positions. This is largely done without a second thought; your body naturally moves to relieve pressure.

However, other people don’t have the capability, sensation, or strength to shift positions. If someone is left in a position too long, damage to the tissues can occur. This is more likely to happen over areas where the bone is closest to the skin such as the tailbone, heel, or spine.

You can see how sitting in a wheelchair all day long can increase the likelihood of a pressure sore on someone’s tailbone. A reclining feature allows a person to relieve pressure from their bottom without having to transfer back into bed to lay flat.

If someone has a spinal cord injury, then their ability to regulate their blood pressure is impaired. A reclining feature is critical in assisting with blood pressure management for their safety.

It is important that people change positions frequently. If you or a loved one is at risk for a pressure sore, then reclining every half-hour is often recommended.

How To Get Fitted

Specialized tilting wheelchairs are usually outfitted for patients by skilled wheelchair vendors. If someone is in the hospital while they need a wheelchair, the vendor will typically work closely with the physical or occupational therapist.

The wheelchair representative from the company can spend time fitting the person properly to a wheelchair and educate or train them on how to use it. They can also provide various repairs and adjustments if you live within the region they travel to.

Medicare will often cover power and manual wheelchairs depending on someone’s medical necessity and if they have opted for Medicare coverage. Make sure you go through a reliable wheelchair company that is also qualified under Medicare for coverage.

Stay Healthy in Raleigh

A reclining back wheelchair is critical in avoiding pressure sores and changing positions. It can also be life-saving for patients who deal with blood pressure concerns and don’t have a method of reclining in their standard wheelchair.

If you or a loved one is looking at upgrading to a new chair or trying to find a reputable wheelchair company in the Raleigh area, we are here for you. Check out our site for all of your wheelchair needs and services.