Wheelchair Push Rims & Handrims – your secret weapon for push and grip

The Many Benefits of Wheelchair Pushrims

blue pushrim covers on a wheelchair wheel

Wheelchair pushrims, also called handrims or push rims, are an important part of manual wheelchairs. They allow the user to grip and propel the wheels forward through pushing motions. Selecting the right pushrims is crucial for wheelchair performance and preventing injury. This article will explore the clinical, functional, and design benefits of various wheelchair pushrim options.

What Are Pushrims and Why Do They Matter?

composite image of young lady with pink pushrims and text"Pushrims the secret weapon of pushing"


Wheelchair pushrims are the circular bars that surround the rear wheels of a manual wheelchair. As the name suggests, wheelchair users grip these rims and push forward to propel their chair. This moves the drive wheels and controls speed and direction.

Choosing an optimal set of pushrims is important for several reasons:

  • Mobility: Good pushrims improve propulsion and make the wheelchair easier to maneuver. Their grip, size, shape and material impact mobility.
  • Injury Prevention: Bad pushrims can strain the hands, wrists and shoulders. Ergonomic options prevent overuse injuries.
  • Function: Pushrims must match the user’s strength, range of motion and coordination. Custom options suit different needs.

In short, pushrims act as the critical interface between wheelchair user and chair. Their design directly impacts mobility and health.

The Clinical Benefits of Pushrims

Research confirms that pushrim design has tangible clinical benefits.

Well-designed pushrims can prevent upper body overuse issues like carpal tunnel syndrome or rotator cuff injuries. How? Through improved grip, better biomechanics and reduced strain during propulsion.

Specifically, ergonomic pushrims:

This lessens the risk of chronic pain or injuries to the hands, wrists and shoulders.

In one study, wheelchair users reported immediate pain reduction when using an ergonomic pushrim model. The benefits are clear.

Of course, pushrim needs depend on the individual. A good fit considers hand strength, sensation loss and joint mobility restrictions.

Pushrim Materials and Durability

Pushrims come in a variety of materials, shapes, diameters and other options. Materials impact grip, comfort and durability.

Common choices include:

  • Stainless steel: Offers good corrosion resistance and a sleek look. Not the grippiest choice.
  • Coated aluminum: More lightweight than steel. Can add grippy coatings. Prone to scratches.
  • Titanium: Extremely strong yet lightweight. Low maintenance and durable. Very expensive.
  • Plastic/composite: Affordable option for basic to moderate use. Last well even with frequent/rough use. A brand this is often recommended are Rehadesign Pushrim Covers;

In general, metal pushrims offer the best durability for frequent or rough use. But plastic is cheaper for basic needs.

Added grip coatings (like rubber) provide extra traction and comfort on any material. This helps optimize contact and push mechanics.

Ideal Pushrim Design Qualities

Beyond materials, certain design qualities make for excellent pushrims:

  • Ergonomic shape: Contoured to fit the hand’s natural closed grip. Reduces strain.
  • Grip surface area: Wide enough for whole-hand contact. Prevents fingertip pressure.
  • Mounting: Quick-release and easy to remove. Enables maintenance.
  • Visibility: Color contrast against the wheels and chair frame. Improves safety.

Of course, individuals have unique needs and preferences. But these qualities optimize function, mobility and injury prevention.

Specific Pushrim Models and Features

Many pushrim models offer distinct features and benefits. A few top options:

  • Natural-Fit: Ergonomic shape fits hand contour. Black rubber coating prevents slippage
  • Q-Grip: Cushioned rubber surface improves grip. Easy to mount without tools
  • Surge: Replaceable silicone grip insert on aluminum rim. Bright green color aids visibility
  • Rehadesign Ultra Grip – affordable and durable rubber push rims that are easily mounted in seconds

Mobility shops can help find the ideal model for one’s needs and environment.

Research on Power-Assist Pushrims

Recent studies analyze the benefits of power-assist pushrims. These motorized wheels sense and amplify the user’s push force.

The reduced strain could prevent upper body overuse issues. Power-assist shows great promise to boost function.

Of course, these wheels add expense and width to a chair. But the independence and mobility gains appear substantial.

Innovations in Wheelchair Pushrim Design

Some novel wheelchair designs separate the pushrims from the drive wheels. This offers new advantages:

  • Improves wheelchair maneuverability and control[]
  • Allows wheel/pushrim customization to user size and needs
  • Pushrim location prevents contact with dirty drive wheels

The separation ensures hands stay clean after propulsion. This can help reduce secondary infections and pressure ulcer risk.

As technology advances, we will continue seeing pushrim innovations. The quest for improved propulsion and injury prevention persists.

Conclusion: Matching Users and Pushrims

Wheelchair pushrims serve critical propulsion and braking functions. Their grip, diameter, material and other factors impact mobility and health.

Choosing the right pushrim involves matching user strengths, range of motion and coordination abilities. Ergonomic shapes provide a better fit and reduce strain.

While often overlooked, pushrims deserve careful selection consideration given their profound impact. Consult mobility rehab experts to explore options and find the best possible fit.

With some research and customization, wheelchair users can reap substantial benefits from their all-important pushrims. Mobility, independence and pain-free wheeling await.

For wheelchair users who have poor grip or are tetrapleglic, this post discusses the best choices of handrims.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pushrims connect the user to the wheelchair – their design impacts propulsion, control and injury risk
  • Ergonomic shapes distribute pressure evenly and require less force to push
  • Power-assist pushrims boost efficiency and obstacle climbing while lowering repetition
  • Separating pushrims from drive wheels aids maneuverability and hand hygiene
  • Matching grip type, diameter and material to user ability and environment is key


About the Author: Duncan Edwards

  • Married to a spinal injured person, I’ve navigated the complexities of wheelchair accessibility and accessories firsthand.
  • My expertise extends to wheelchair pushrims, where I’ve spent years identifying the best options for comfort and efficiency.
  • Collaborating with Disability Horizons, I’ve reviewed countless wheelchair accessories, always seeking to enhance mobility and independence for users.
  • Supporting my partner and engaging with a community of wheelchair users has deepened my understanding and passion for accessible solutions.
  • My background in welfare benefits and managing Disability Horizons Shop has equipped me with a unique perspective on the needs of disabled individuals and their families.

Trays and Wheelchair Trays: Essential Tools for Social Inclusion for Disabled People

Lets eat together! How trays can make a difference to social inclusion.

confident individual in a wheelchair at a home setting, using a specialized tray to eat and drink independently.

What are trays and wheelchair trays?

  • Definition: Trays and wheelchair trays are flat surfaces used on tables or wheelchairs.
  • Purpose: They provide a stable platform for food, drinks, and other items.
  • Importance: Vital for disabled peopl, aiding in independent eating and drinking, and social activity participation.

How can trays and wheelchair trays promote social inclusion?

  • Independence: Enable disabled individuals to eat and drink independently, boosting self-esteem and confidence.
  • Participation in Social Activities: Facilitate involvement in gatherings, enhancing social interaction.
  • Accessibility: Improve access and reduce barriers, especially in public places like restaurants.

Examples of how trays and wheelchair trays can be used to promote social inclusion

  1. Spinal Cord Injury: Allows independent eating and drinking in various settings.
  2. Cerebral Palsy: Supports hands during eating and social activities like games.
  3. Visual Impairment: Assists in locating food and drinks, preventing spills.
  4. Developmental Disability: Aids in learning new skills such as using a knife and fork for eating, sensory toys and games.

Benefits of trays and wheelchair trays for social inclusion

 a diverse group of individuals, including people with disabilities, enjoying a social gathering around a table.

  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Boosted Self-Esteem and Confidence
  • Reduced Isolation and Dependence
  • Increased Social Participation
  • Enhanced Accessibility
  • Improved Quality of Life

How to choose the right tray or wheelchair tray

  • Consider User’s Needs: Size, shape, and special features like raised edges.
  • Intended Use: Different trays for eating/drinking and carrying items.
  • Environment of Use: Weatherproof options for outdoor use.

Enhancing Daily Independence: A Comparative Guide to the Tipsi Tray, Topple Tray, and Trabasack Mini Bag and Tray

Understanding Your Options for Enhanced Mobility and Convenience

When it comes to selecting aids that enhance daily living for individuals with disabilities, choosing the right product is crucial. Today, we’re focusing on three innovative products from Disability Health Shop: the Tipsi Tray, the Topple Tray, and the Trabasack Mini Bag and Tray.

Tipsi Tray: A Stable Solution for Shaky Hands

The Tipsi Tray is specifically designed for one-handed use, making it a perfect choice for individuals with conditions that result in shaky hands. Its level and stable design prevents spills, ensuring a hassle-free experience during your daily activities. Learn more about the Tipsi Tray here.

Topple Tray: Lightweight and Portable

Following the Tipsi Tray, the Topple Tray offers a more compact, lightweight solution. It maintains the benefits of single-handed use but adds the advantages of portability and ease. This tray is ideal for individuals who are always on the move. Discover more about the Topple Tray here.

Trabasack Mini Connect Bag and Tray: Versatile and Practical

Combining the functions of a travel bag and a wheelchair tray, the Trabasack Mini Bag and Tray is a game-changer. Not only does it provide a sturdy surface for various activities, but it also offers the convenience of a bag. Its velcro receptive surface ensures that items remain secure during travel. Get more details about the Trabasack Mini Connect Bag and Tray here.

Research showing the importance of sharing food and drink with friends and Family

.46 accessible restaurant setting designed for disabled people. The scene includes a spacious layout with wide aisles and tables

Research indicates that sharing food and drink and eating with other people is indeed important for social inclusion and well-being. Here are some key findings from the research:

  1. Importance of Belonging and Togetherness: Studies highlight the significance of belonging, togetherness, and interpersonal support in various cultures and religions, emphasizing that food rituals and communal eating are associated with improved physical health and reduced risks for various health conditions.
  2. Connection Between Social Eating and Happiness: Research from the University of Oxford reveals that the frequency of eating with others is positively correlated with feelings of happiness and satisfaction with life, indicating the importance of social eating in fostering well-being and social connections.
  3. Communal Eating and Social Bonding: The Washington Post discusses a study titled “Breaking Bread: The Functions of Social Eating,” which demonstrates a strong connection between communal eating and social bonding, suggesting that communal eating may have evolved as a mechanism for humans to enhance social connections and well-being.
  4. Evolutionary and Social Nature of Commensality: Scholarly discussions on commensality and food sharing highlight the evolutionary and social significance of eating together, emphasizing its role in connecting individuals as biological organisms to social beings and fostering internal solidarity.
  5. Food as a Means of Inclusion and Exclusion: The sharing of food is recognized as a means of inclusion, while eating separately or differently may contribute to exclusion. Food can serve as a language through which social affinities are expressed, and prohibitions on specific foods may differentiate between social selves and others[5].

In summary, the research consistently underscores the importance of sharing food and eating with others as a fundamental aspect of social inclusion, well-being, and the formation of social bonds across various cultures and societies


Where to purchase trays and wheelchair trays

  • Sources:
    • Medical Supply Stores
    • Online Retailers
    • Disability Organizations
    • NHS Wheelchair services may provide a tray, but it is not standard

Why we need the right wheelchair or specialist trays!

Trays and wheelchair trays play a crucial role in fostering social inclusion for disabled individuals, enhancing independence, participation, and quality of life.


Complete Guide to Knorks for one handed eating

What are Knorks and how do they help with one-handed eating?

Knorks, a unique hybrid of a knife and a fork, have gained popularity among individuals with limited hand mobility or those who prefer using only one hand for eating. This innovative utensil is designed to assist individuals in easily and effectively maneuvering their meals without the need for multiple utensils. Its distinctive features include a curved outer edge with serrated teeth, allowing for efficient cutting and slicing of food items. Moreover, the rounded tines at the front of a Knork make it easier to scoop and maintain stability while eating.

By incorporating the features of both a knife and a fork, Knorks provide a practical solution for those who struggle with one-handed eating. With its versatile design, this utensil reduces the need for constant switching between different cutlery, thus streamlining the dining experience and promoting independence. The ability to cut, pierce, and eat using a single utensil not only increases efficiency but also encourages a sense of confidence and self-sufficiency for individuals who may face physical challenges during meal times.

Understanding the design and features of Knorks for easy one-handed use.

Knorks are innovative utensils that have been specifically designed to facilitate easy one-handed eating. With their unique shape and features, Knorks provide individuals with limited dexterity or mobility in one hand an efficient and comfortable solution for enjoying meals.

The design of a Knork is what sets it apart from traditional utensils. While it resembles a combination of a fork and a knife, the Knork offers a wide range of features that make it ideal for one-handed use. The elongated tines are slightly bevelled on one side, allowing for effortless cutting and piercing of food. The rounded and smooth underside of the Knork functions as a scoop, making it easier to gather food without the need for a separate spoon. Additionally, the ergonomically designed handle provides a comfortable grip and optimal control, enabling individuals to manoeuvre the utensil with ease.

The materials used in the construction of Knorks vary, but the most commonly used are stainless steel and high-quality plastic. Stainless steel Knorks offer durability, strength, and are often dishwasher safe. On the other hand, plastic Knorks are lightweight and more suitable for individuals who prefer a softer grip. Regardless of the material, Knorks are designed to withstand regular use and maintain their functionality over time. The thoughtful combination of design and material ensures that Knorks not only enhance the dining experience but also remain a reliable utensil for long-term use.

Exploring the different types and materials of Knorks available in the market.

Knorks are available in a wide range of types and materials, catering to various individual preferences and dietary needs. When exploring the market, you will come across traditional Knorks made of stainless steel, known for their durability and elegant appearance. These Knorks are ideal for everyday use and can withstand regular wear and tear. For those seeking a modern twist, there are Knorks made from high-quality plastics that offer lightweight and ergonomic designs. These materials often come in vibrant colors, adding a touch of fun to your dining experience.

If you prefer eco-friendly options, you will be pleased to discover Knorks made from sustainable materials such as bamboo. These Knorks combine functionality with environmental consciousness, allowing you to make a positive impact while enjoying your meal. Additionally, for individuals with specific dietary requirements or preferences, there are Knorks available in specialized materials like silicone, which provide added flexibility and heat resistance. With an extensive array of options in the market, finding the perfect Knork that suits your style and needs is easily achievable.

Tips for selecting the right Knork based on your specific needs and preferences.

When it comes to selecting the right Knork based on your specific needs and preferences, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, think about the material and durability of the Knork. Stainless steel Knorks are a popular choice due to their sturdiness and long-lasting nature. However, if you prefer a lightweight option, there are also Knorks made from materials like plastic or titanium available in the market.

Another important aspect to think about is the design of the Knork. Look for Knorks that have a comfortable handle and ergonomic shape, which will make it easier for you to grip and maneuver the utensil. Some Knorks even come with added features like rubberized grips or contoured handles for enhanced stability and control. It is essential to consider your own hand strength and dexterity when choosing the design that suits you best.

Proper usage techniques for maximizing the benefits of Knorks during one-handed eating.

When using Knorks for one-handed eating, it is essential to hold the utensil properly. Begin by grasping the Knork firmly with your dominant hand, ensuring that the handle rests comfortably in your palm. Position your thumb on the top of the handle, while your index and middle fingers wrap around the back. This grip provides stability and control, allowing you to navigate your meal with confidence.

As you bring the loaded Knork to your mouth, maintain a relaxed and natural wrist position. Avoid excessive bending or twisting movements, as these can strain your hand and make eating more challenging. Instead, focus on using gentle, fluid motions to guide the Knork to your desired food item. The serrated edge of the Knork will assist in cutting through softer foods, enhancing your dining experience. By employing these proper usage techniques, you can make the most of Knorks and effortlessly enjoy one-handed eating.

Overcoming common challenges faced while using Knorks for one-handed eating.

While using Knorks for one-handed eating can greatly enhance the dining experience, it is not without its challenges. One common hurdle faced by users is finding the right grip on the Knork. Due to the unique design of the utensil, individuals may initially struggle with holding it securely. However, with practice and perseverance, it becomes easier to navigate this obstacle.

Another challenge can be adjusting to the weight and balance of the Knork. As Knorks are typically heavier than regular utensils, it can take some time for individuals to get accustomed to the weight distribution. Additionally, the balance of the Knork may feel different, which can affect the precision and control while eating. By consistently using the Knork and focusing on a steady grip, individuals can gradually overcome this challenge and develop confidence in their one-handed eating abilities.

Creative and practical ways to incorporate Knorks into your daily eating routine.

When it comes to incorporating Knorks into your daily eating routine, there are plenty of creative and practical ways to make the most of these innovative utensils. Whether you’re dining at home or on the go, the versatility of Knorks allows you to enjoy your meals with ease. One way to incorporate Knorks into your routine is by using them during snack time. Whether you’re indulging in a bag of chips or enjoying a bowl of popcorn, the sturdy design of Knorks makes them ideal for grabbing and scooping bite-sized treats. Say goodbye to messy fingers and hello to a more convenient snacking experience.

Another practical way to incorporate Knorks into your daily eating routine is by using them during meal prep. Instead of using separate utensils for cutting and scooping, Knorks allow you to do both at once. Prepare your favorite salads, pasta dishes, or stir-fries with ease by using the single utensil that combines the functionality of a knife and fork. Not only does this save time and effort in the kitchen, but it also minimizes the number of utensils you need to wash afterwards. Simplify your meal prep process and enjoy the convenience of Knorks.

Maintenance and care tips to ensure the longevity of your Knorks.

Proper maintenance and care are vital to ensuring the longevity of your Knorks. Firstly, it is recommended to hand-wash your Knorks using mild dishwashing soap and warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads as they can scratch the surface of the utensils. It is also crucial to thoroughly dry them after washing, as moisture can lead to rust or corrosion.

To protect the outer coating of your Knorks, it is advisable to store them in a separate compartment or sleeve. This will prevent them from coming into contact with other sharp utensils or abrasive surfaces, which may cause scratches or damage. Additionally, avoiding exposure to extreme temperatures can help maintain the quality of your Knorks. Prolonged exposure to high heat, such as leaving them near stovetops or in hot dishes, can result in warping or discoloration. Similarly, exposure to extreme cold can cause the metal to become brittle. By following these simple maintenance and care tips, you can ensure that your Knorks remain in excellent condition for extended use.

Exploring alternative utensils and adaptive devices for one-handed eating.

When it comes to one-handed eating, there are various alternative utensils and adaptive devices available that can assist individuals in maintaining their independence and making mealtime easier. One such device is the rocker knife. Designed with a curved blade and an easy-to-grip handle, the rocker knife allows users to easily cut through food by rocking it back and forth. This eliminates the need for a traditional cutting motion, making it ideal for those with limited grip or hand strength. Additionally, weighted utensils can provide stability and control for individuals with tremors or difficulty grasping objects. These utensils have added weight in the handle, which helps to counterbalance natural tremors and allows for a steadier hold while eating.

Personal stories and testimonials from individuals who have successfully integrated Knorks into their one-handed eating habits.

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Various individuals have shared their personal stories and testimonials about how incorporating Knorks into their one-handed eating habits has made a significant difference in their daily lives. For instance, Lisa, a mother of three, expressed her gratitude for the innovative design of Knorks. She mentioned how the utensil’s integrated fork and knife functionality helped her effortlessly cut and consume her food with just one hand. Lisa further emphasized the Knork’s sturdy grip and balanced weight, which made it ideal for people with limited dexterity and strength in their hands. In her testimonial, she stated that the Knork had become an essential tool in her kitchen, enabling her to enjoy meals with ease and independence.

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Another inspiring story comes from Mike, a veteran who lost the full use of his dominant hand due to a combat injury. Mike shared his initial struggles with traditional utensils, which made every meal a daunting task. However, after discovering Knorks, he experienced a renewed sense of freedom and joy during meals. The versatile design of Knorks allowed Mike to cut his food without needing a separate knife, and the rounded edges ensured safe and comfortable usage. Mike commended Knorks for enabling him to regain his confidence and participate in social dining without feeling self-conscious. He even noted that Knorks had become a conversation starter, as others were curious about this innovative utensil that had made such a positive impact on his life.

Explore the complete Knork range on Disability Horizons Shop