Advertisement

What are the pros and cons of wheelchairs and scooters for people with MS?

A brief review of the basic options for wheeled mobility aids for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) follows:
  • Manual Wheelchairs
Pros: relatively inexpensive, lightweight and portable.
Cons: not for full-time wheelchair users, limited adjustability may increase fatigue.
  • Standing Wheelchairs
Pros: psychological benefit of being upright, allows weight bearing through the legs, pressure relief, muscle stretch, and may build endurance.
Cons: very expensive and funding is difficult.
  • Power Scooters (also called Power Operated Vehicles or POVs)
Pros: Wide range of cost, size and features, often more aesthetically acceptable.
Cons: large turning radius, often less postural support, 4-wheeled models more stable, but have limited leg room.
  • Power Wheelchairs
Pros: Can be customized for a variety of needs, rear-wheel drive (RWD) models have good front stability and are intuitive to drive, front wheel drive (FWD) handles well outdoors, and center wheel drive (CWD) maneuvers well indoors and outdoors and has the smallest turning radius.
Cons: Large and heavy (200-300 lbs.) and require a van for transport. RWD has the largest turning radius, FWD has limited speed due to fishtailing, and CWD may require training.

Continue Learning about Living With Multiple Sclerosis

4 Ways to Work Out When You Have Multiple Sclerosis
4 Ways to Work Out When You Have Multiple Sclerosis
If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), you may feel as though maintaining a fitness routine is more than you can handle—after all, simply getting around...
Read More
How much vitamin E is safe if I have multiple sclerosis (MS)?
Multiple Sclerosis FoundationMultiple Sclerosis Foundation
If you have multiple sclerosis (MS), consuming 30-40 IU of synthetic vitamin E daily is a good idea ...
More Answers
How can I plan for an emergency if I have multiple sclerosis?
Multiple Sclerosis FoundationMultiple Sclerosis Foundation
When you or a loved one face the challenges of multiple sclerosis (MS), that preparation is very imp...
More Answers
Is There a Genetic Component to Multiple Sclerosis?
Is There a Genetic Component to Multiple Sclerosis?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.