Breakthrough for wheelchair users

November 24, 2008

Manually operated wheelchairs can take a lot of effort, but a new British invention which can be attached to any standard wheelchair can reduce the force you need to propel it by a staggering 40%. This means that the user can go further with greater ease, and with less strain on the body. This revolutionary system was conceived by Robert Orford when he was just 19 and after six years of research and development, helped by Professor Michael Craggs, Director of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, the NuDrive system is available in the UK.

Disabled writer and BBC presenter Lara Masters, spoke about the challenges disabled people face and the need to be resourceful: “I try to see my physical restrictions as creative challenges and NuDrive symbolises my philosophy by presenting an opportunity for wheelchair users to maximise the potential of their “pushing power”, she said at the launch in October. With NuDrive, the user can propel themselves forwards and backwards, manoeuvre and brake, simply by pushing the levers – there’s no need to spin the wheel rims by hand. This improves posture and shifts the shoulder loading, helping to prevent shoulder strain and injury. It also makes going over uneven ground and up inclines a lot easier.

The ergonomically designed Drive Units allow users with arthritic or weak hands to self-propel as it requires no finger or hand dexterity. By removing the need to grip and release the wheel rims, NuDrive also eliminates the threat of Repetitive Strain Injury, protects hands from abrasion, and keeps your hands clean too. NuDrive attaches in seconds to almost any manual wheelchair with 24inch metal spoked wheels so there’s no need to buy a new chair. The concept is simple, but the technology is cutting edge and wheelchair users with a range of medical conditions and disabilities were involved throughout the research.

NuDrive costs around £349 and is 0% VAT rated, and what I particularly liked is that the company only employs qualified physiotherapists as sales clinicians to make sure you get the right advice as to whether it is suitable for you or not. For more information go to where there is a interesting video on how it can improve the performance of your wheelchair, and reduce the strain on you.


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