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Wheelchairs are a common piece of medical equipment but most of us are unaware of the different types available on the market today. If you are ever in the unenviable position of needing a wheelchair for yourself or a loved one, you must be aware of the different types that are out there. Who would ever imagine there could be such a variety?

First of all, there are the manual wheelchairs that are powered by the user himself or by someone else who pushes the chair for him. These chairs are very light and easy to maneuver and are recommended for everyday or occasional use.

The next on the list are electric wheelchairs, which have a motor and are ideal for someone who must use a wheelchair for most of the day. They are fairly expensive, costing around $3000 or more, and are not recommended for outdoor use as most will not stand up structurally to the rigors of outdoor use.

Sports wheelchairs are available and can be designed for any number of sports. It is advised that you buy a sports specific wheelchair to get the most enjoyment out of your sport.

Believe it or not, you can even buy wheelchairs designed for dogs with mobility problems, though I have yet to see a dog being pushed in a wheelchair by a person.

Some things to consider before buying a wheelchair is whether it is designed for indoor or outdoor use. You might need to buy two if you plan to do a lot of outdoor travel in the wheelchair. You need to consider the size and the weight it can hold. If you plan on car travel, the wheelchair should fold up for easy storage in the trunk.

If you are planning to buy an electric wheelchair, you will need to know where the power source is located. An electric wheelchair with a rear wheel power source will usually move faster than ones with a front wheel power source. Will you need a wheelchair that reclines or one with removable armrests? Some wheelchairs have adjustable footrests. Last, but not least, you need to find out if it has a warranty and for how long.

Like any other type of purchase you make, do your research and shop around before you buy. If you put some thought and consideration into what you need in a chair and how much you will use it, you will be much happier with your purchase in the end.

Author Barney Garcia is a proud contributing author and enjoys writing about many different topics. Please visit my web sites @ feel-lucky-today and medical-supplier