Most individuals who push a wheelchair on a daily basis experience shoulder pain from time to time if not constantly. The shoulders are one of the most complicated joints in the body with the most extensive range of motion possible. This range of motion has a benefit of being able to accomplish significant functional task, but this is at the expense of stability. In contrast, joints that have the least amount of range of motion usually have the most stability. The shoulders were never designed to take the place of our legs and be responsible for all of our mobility.
Overuse the upper extremities versus the need for aerobic exercise is an ongoing balancing act that I face on a daily basis. I have the need and the desire to exercise regularly for health maintenance. This summer has been an unusually difficult time because of an increase in left-sided shoulder pain. This has prevented me from exercising throughout most of the summer. Read Full Article >
Dr. House (Colorado, USA)
Magicwheels, A Subjective Evaluation
(From one person’s point of view)
This is a discussion of my experiences with a set of Magicwheels. I am lucky enough to live in the Seattle area, and was able to go to Magicwheels to get a trial set of wheels. The folks at the factory are very helpful and Jill made sure that I understood the techniques needed for smooth operation of the wheels. I will cover more on this later. My trial period was extended from about two to over four weeks so that I could take them on an Alaskan cruise. I will also cover that experience in detail.
Before I get into their operation I have to comment on the wheel’s construction. NO SPOKES! I have broken literally hundreds, maybe even thousands of spokes in the 20 plus years of wheelchair usage. A standard wheel with spokes (bicycle style spokes) involves some very interesting physics. Essentially, they are going through constant stretch and compression as the wheel rotates. If you want to prove this, pluck a spoke at the top of a wheel and listen to the tone. Rotate that spoke to the bottom of the wheel and pluck it again. The tone will be lower. This shows that you are literally hanging on the top spokes (stretching them) and pushing down on the bottom ones (compressing them). (Read More >)
Gary E. Lieberg - C6-C7 Incomplete, 20 years in wheelchair
- (Burien, Washington)
Mary F. - Video Testimonial - (Seattle, WA)
I am a C5-C6 male, age 60, 150 lbs and have always used a manual chair. I
always wondered if anyone would come up with a way to provide that little
extra assistance, usually provided by my wife, needed for steeper inclines,
sidehills, etc. Additionally, I recently acquired a fantastic mini-van with
an electric ramp. But the angle of the ramp, even with the van in a "kneel"
(lowered) position is still to steep for me to go up the ramp unassisted.
When I put a pair of MAGICWHEELS™ (2-gear wheelchair drive) on my chair I was able to
ascend the van ramp safely, with no physical strain at all. It was amazing!
This incredible wheel has a gearbox in the center which allows you to shift
into a low gear that has a 2:1 ratio. This makes it is 50% easier to push up
those inclines, sidehills, van ramps, over gravel, etc ... we all know those
surfaces. The key here to getting up inclines safely is the fact that this
wheel, when in low gear, automatically locks and holds your position on the
upslope until you push forward on the rims. Incredible!
MAGICWHEELS™ has already added to my independence because now I can takeoff
in the van and get in as well as out by myself. The amount of physical
stress on my hand, arm and shoulder joints is going to be greatly reduced.
The number of years I use a manual chair will increase and I'll continue to
get the exercise benefits of a manual chair longer, which are lost when
using a power chair. MAGICWHEELS™ is just that little extra help that I have
been looking for. No batteries, no motors, fits your present chair and only
adds about 10 pounds total to your chair. Do yourself a favor and check out MAGICWHEELS™.
Greg F. (Sylvania, OH)
I was pleased to have the opportunity to test your new two speed wheels for manual wheelchairs. I was impressed with how light they were and how easily they could be mounted onto typical wheelchair frames. The current prototypes are very convenient and will solve a variety of problems for users.
I have been particularly interested in adaptive modifications for the manual wheelchair. My interest comes from being a spinal cord medicine physician who cares for many patients that are manual wheelchair users and from living as a person with T2 paraplegia which requires me to use a wheelchair every day. The potential to traverse steeper grades and travel at higher speeds is very exciting.
The use a smaller rim to generate the greater speed using a conventional wheel is something I had seen on custom wheelchairs but not found available from a company or supplier. Your two speed "Accelerator" was most helpful to me as I climbed hills outside your shop. I was able to go faster in one to one mode using the small rim and much farther up the hill outside when shifted into the two to one gear. In particular, the capability to go up a steeper grade in a lower gear extends the range of the manual wheelchair to non code ramps, ramps into mini vans, and on some man made trails. Your two speed rims with the knobby tires mounted "The Boss" provide greater traction and torque to traverse trails.
In summary, you have a small line of useful manual wheelchair accessories that can make a big functional difference for a subset of the population with spinal cord injury and others with weakness that prohibits sufficient push force for propulsion. I am anxious to see the variety of instances in the course of the day that the wheels cane useful. I suspect the capabilities of these wheels win redefine the range of what is accessible with the manual wheelchair. Best regards and congratulations, you are producing a variety of products that will enhance independence for many manual wheelchair users.
Steven A. Stiens MD MS
Attending Physician, Spinal Cord Injury Unit
“As a c-6/7 Quad I found these wheels surprisingly useable: I was easily able to shift the gears one at a time. They aided me in ascending inclines which were extremely difficult before, saving my shoulders excess strain and providing me access to places which previously were daunting-to-inaccessible. This is by far the best feature of Magic Wheels: helping me to get places on my own that I couldn't before.”
Ocean (Olympia, WA)
“The wheels work great going up my ramps, driveway and in the park.”
Jane (Auburn, WA)
“I am amazed by them. Before I couldn't’t go up the hill around my house with my Quickie wheels, but with Magic Wheels I feel free again. Easy to use, operate and transfer. I am looking forward to do more camping and traveling.