How Do I Navigate Tight Spaces in My Wheelchair?

Feb 09, 2019

The thing you’re fight most right now is probably muscle memory more than anything else. Your body is used to moving the chair in a certain way and at a certain pace and your new “shape” is screwing things up.

The key is to slow down and take your time moving through your house. Not only will this help you navigate better, but it’ll give you a chance to spot small, temporary changes you can make to improve your situation.

If a spot is really, really, tight you’ll want to try and “hop” the chair through: pull up on the wheels and shift your body weight so that the chair moves without turning. This maneuver is often used when forcing your way through doors where the clearance between the chair and the doorframe is measured in millimeters. It takes patience and practice so make sure you take the time time to figure it out before crashing your way through a door. Basically, you’re gonna slide through the door sideways with the chair facing the door frame. It was a common maneuver when I played wheelchair basketball and my chair was too wide to fit through the doors of the gym.