The hands of a manual wheelchair owner hold tremendous power. They are 'the engine', 'the steering', and 'the brakes'. They are the heart of a chair owner's mobility.

They also take a great deal of abuse.

A wheelchair owner's hands are exposed to constant friction and heat generated by pushing, stopping and turning. They are numbered and desensitized in cold and wet weather. Active and athletic owners are particularly vulnerable to the damage and irritation caused by constant use and exposure. In fact, At least 18% of all wheelchair users experience blisters, abrasions, and lacerations. Many more develop thick, rough calluses.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Wheelchair User's Enemy

Even more importantly, according to studies performed by Dr H. Gellman and his team from Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in California (49% of parapalegic patients showed signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome) , a potentially debilitating condition. Dr. Coopers and Dr. Robertson of California State University report ( ) “Research in this area suggests that carpal tunnel syndrome may be the result of nerve compression which occurs during forceful endeavors with the hand and wrist in hyperflexion or hyperextension. strikes of the heel of the hand against the push rim may cause pain and numbness of the thumb and fingers. ”

Hands were simply not designed to withstand the repetitive impact and constant contact with wheelchair pushrims. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the effects of constant stress and exposure to the hands. Many researchers strongly recommend the use of properly designed wheelchair gloves to minimizeize hand injury.

Wheelchair Gloves Can Provide Relief

Properly designed wheelchair gloves can provide:

o Protection against skin damage caused by starting, stopping and turning the wheelchair.

o Protection against injury caused by vibrations and repeated impact.

o Improved stopping and maneuverability

o Comfort in cold or wet weather

Unfortunately, many gloves marketed as “wheelchair gloves” fail. They fall apart under intense use, or worse, are inappropriate for the lifestyles of their owners. The requirements of an athlete can be different from a moderately active person who is using a wheelchair in cold weather, while the needs of a person with limited hand function are different from those of a person who is experiencing a great deal of vibration or impact to the hand. Therefore it is important that a wheelchair user buys high quality, gloves that were designed for their specific needs.

To meet the unique needs of active wheelchair users, Med Services Europe has launched RehaDesign Gloves. For more information click here: RehaDesign Wheelchair Gloves or contact us at