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Shove-a-lugs

1 Grip

WHAT ARE SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS?

SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS ARE GRIPPING DEVICES WHICH ATTACH DIRECTLY TO THE PRE-EXISTING GRIP RING OF A WHEELCHAIR. THEY HELP A PERSON PUSH THE WHEELCHAIR MORE EASILY.

HOW DO THEY WORK?

SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS WORK BY ENABLING A PERSON TO USE THE PALMS OF THEIR HANDS TO PUSH THE WHEELCHAIR, RATHER THAN BY GRIPPING A RELATIVELY THIN RING AT AN AWKWARD ANGLE. IN FACT, NO GRIPPING IS REQUIRED TO PUSH THE WHEELCHAIR. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE WITH ARTHRITIC, DEFORMED, PAINFUL, OR VERY WEAK HANDS.

HOW DO THEY ATTACH?

EACH LUG CONSISTS OF TWO PIECES- A (SMALLER) CLAMP PIECE, AND A (LARGER) GRIP PIECE. THE TWO PIECES CLAMP AROUND THE WHEELCHAIR’S GRIP RING BY USE OF TWO SCREWS WHICH GO THROUGH THE CLAMP PIECE INTO THREADED BRASS INSERTS IN THE GRIP PIECE.

DO THEY FIT ALL WHEELCHAIRS?

JUST ABOUT ALL WHEELCHAIRS HAVE GRIP RINGS THAT ARE EITHER OF TWO DIAMETERS (5/8” OR 3/4”). THESE DIAMETERS VARY SLIGHTLY FROM CHAIR TO CHAIR, AND MAY EVEN VARY IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF A SINGLE GRIP RING (PLASTIC AND/OR CHROME). SHOVE’A’LUGS ARE MADE TO FIT THE LARGER OF THE TWO DIAMETERS, BUT INCLUDE A SET OF ADAPTOR SLIPS (SHORT, FLEXABLE, NON-SLIP, SLIT-TUBES) WHICH CAN BE PLACED ONTO THE NARROWER GRIP RINGS TO ENLARGE THE DIAMETER. ON MUCH OLDER WHEELCHAIRS WITH EXCESSIVE WEARING OF THE RUBBER TIRE, THE CLEARANCE OF THE GRIP RING FROM THE GROUND MAY BE INSUFFICIENT. THE LUGS MAY BUMP THE GROUND AS THE WHEEL TURNS. ROTATING THE LUG OUTWARD WILL INCREASE GROUND CLEARANCE BY 1/4".

ERGONOMICS

SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS ENABLE A PERSON TO PUSH HIS OR HER WHEELCHAIR WITH A MORE ANATOMICALLY APPROPRIATE WRIST POSITION. THERAPISTS OFTEN TEACH THEIR CLIENTS TO AVOID THE WRIST MOTION KNOWN AS ULNAR DEVIATION- BENDING THE WRIST DOWNWARD WITH THE PALM FACING INWARD (TOWARDS THE BODY). THIS MOTION, DONE REPETITIVELY, CAN BE INJURIOUS TO COMPONENTS OF THE WRIST. THIS IS PRECISELY THE MOTION REQUIRED TO PUSH A WHEELCHAIR USING THE GRIP RING. SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS PREVENT THIS TYPE OF MOTION.

ANY REPETITIVE MOTION DONE OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME CAN RESULT IN CONDITIONS OF INFLAMED JOINTS OR ASSOCIATED SOFT TISSUES. THESE MAY INCLUDE CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME, TENDONOSIS, OR OTHERS.

SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS ARE DESIGNED WITH THE PALM-CONTACT AREA ROUNDED IN ORDER TO DISTRIBUTE PRESSURE ON THE PALM DURING THE PUSH PHASE, AND MINIMIZE PRESSURE AT ANY GIVEN POINT. THE “FRONT” SIDE (WHERE THE FINGER PADS MAKE CONTACT) IS LESS ROUNDED. THIS IS TO FACILIATE GRIPPING WITH THE FINGERS FOR STOPPING OR PROPELLING IN REVERSE.

THE SURFACE IS A SMOOTH PLASTIC WITH NO CREVICES, SEAMS, OR INDENTIONS IN THE CONTACT AREAS. THIS MAKES THEM EASY TO CLEAN, AND UNLIKELY TO SNAG A FINGERNAIL.

WHY NOT JUST GET A RIM WITH LUGS ALREADY ON IT?

I USED TO TRY THIS FOR MY CLIENTS. THESE RIMS CAN COST AS MUCH AS THE WHEELCHAIR ITSELF. THEY MUST BE SPECIAL-ORDERED WHICH COULD REQUIRE SEVERAL WEEKS. ALSO COMPATIBILITY WAS VERY DIFFICULT BECAUSE OF THE TREMENDOUS VARIATION IN WHEEL SIZES, STYLES, AND MODELS.

WILL SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS MAKE THE WHEELCHAIR WIDER?

YES. THEY ADD ONE INCH TO EACH SIDE OF THE CHAIR FOR A COMBINED TWO-INCH INCREASE IN DIAMETER.

ADVISORY:

SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS WORK BY ADDING A PROTRUDING KNOB TO THE GRIP RING OF THE WHEELCHAIR. THIS CAN INCREASE THE RISK OF INJURY TO THE HAND OR FINGERS. RIDER MUST BE ABLE TO OPERATE WHEELCHAIR USING APPROPRIATE CAUTION

CAREGIVERS MUST USE CAUTION WHEN PUSHING A PERSON IN A WHEELCHAIR WITH SHOVE-A-LUGS® ATTACHED. SOME CONDITIONS EXIST THAT COULD MAKE THE USE OF SHOVE-A-LUGS® GRIP ATTACHMENTS UNSAFE. THESE INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: