Keeping Your Feet Happy: A Guide to Mobility Wheelchairs and Podiatry Care

For individuals who rely on mobility wheelchairs, maintaining healthy feet is crucial. Limited mobility can make it difficult to inspect your feet regularly, increasing the risk of unnoticed injuries or developing problems. Podiatrists, also known as foot doctors, play a vital role in ensuring your feet stay healthy and comfortable, allowing for continued mobility and overall well-being.

This article explores the connection between mobility wheelchairs and podiatry care, providing valuable information for wheelchair users and their caregivers.

Challenges of Foot Care with Mobility Wheelchairs

Mobility wheelchair offers freedom and independence, but they also present unique challenges when it comes to foot care. Here are some common issues:

  • Limited visibility: Inspecting the soles and tops of your feet can be difficult while seated in a wheelchair. This can make it harder to identify early signs of problems such as blisters, corns, or ingrown toenails.
  • Reduced sensation: Some individuals using wheelchairs may experience decreased sensation in their feet due to nerve damage or pressure. This can make it difficult to detect cuts, scrapes, or temperature changes, potentially leading to infections.
  • Difficulties with hygiene: Maintaining proper foot hygiene can be challenging while seated, especially if reaching certain areas is difficult. This can increase the risk of fungal infections or skin breakdown.
  • Transferring to examination tables: Transferring from a wheelchair to a podiatrist’s examination table can be a challenge, especially for those with limited upper body strength.

The Importance of Podiatry Care

Given the challenges listed above, regular podiatry care becomes even more important for wheelchair users. Here’s why:

  • Early detection and prevention: Podiatrists can identify potential problems early on before they become serious issues. This can prevent complications like diabetic foot ulcers, which can be particularly dangerous for wheelchair users with reduced sensation.
  • Proper foot care education: Podiatrists can provide personalized advice on foot hygiene, self-care techniques, and proper footwear selection. This empowers individuals to take a proactive role in maintaining healthy feet.
  • Management of existing conditions: If you have existing foot conditions like bunions, hammertoes, or plantar fasciitis, a podiatrist can develop a treatment plan to manage them effectively, minimizing pain and improving comfort.
  • Custom orthotics and footwear: In some cases, podiatrists can prescribe custom orthotics or recommend specialized footwear designed to improve foot function and prevent pressure sores.

Making Podiatry Appointments Accessible

The Podiatry office is now equipped to accommodate wheelchair users. Here’s what to look for when making an appointment:

  • Accessible entrance and parking: Ensure the office has a ramped entrance with accessible parking close by.
  • Wide doorways and hallways: Ask if the office has wide enough doorways and hallways to allow for easy maneuvering of a wheelchair.
  • Accessible examination rooms: Inquire about examination rooms with enough space for a wheelchair to move around freely and a lowered examination table if needed.
  • Transfer assistance: If transferring to an examination table is a challenge, ask if the office staff can assist with the process.

Tips for Wheelchair Users

Here are some additional tips to ensure a smooth and successful podiatry appointment:

  • Schedule an appointment in advance: This allows the office to prepare and ensure all accessibility needs are met.
  • Inform the office staff of your specific needs: Let them know if you require assistance with transfers or have any mobility limitations.
  • Wear a loose-fitting outfit: This will make it easier to remove your shoes and socks for the examination.
  • Bring a list of medications: Inform your podiatrist about any medications you are currently taking.
  • Ask questions: Don’t hesitate to ask questions about your foot health and any recommended treatments.


By prioritizing regular podiatry care and ensuring accessibility, individuals who rely on mobility wheelchairs can maintain healthy feet and maximize their overall well-being. Don’t let challenges with foot care become a barrier to maintaining your independence and an active lifestyle. With a little preparation and communication, your podiatrist can become a valuable partner in keeping your feet happy and mobile for years to come.