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Benefits of Power Tilt and Recline Electric Wheelchairs

Date:  Sep 13, 2021  |  Read Time: 5 min

Electric wheelchairs are helpful on their own in achieving one’s independent mobility, but there are power seating systems, like a power tilt and recline, on electric wheelchairs that can help a patient function more. These features found in electric wheelchairs are helping patients improve their quality of life by allowing them to accomplish more day-to-day tasks.


This article will talk about two power seating systems that can be found in an electric wheelchair: power tilt and recline. We will also be talking about their benefits to help you understand how these seating systems can increase a person’s functionality and independent mobility while being comfortable.


Who Needs Power Tilt and Recline on Electric Wheelchairs

Power tilt and recline on electric wheelchairs are beneficial for users who need help shifting their weight, have cerebral palsy, have tone conditions, or need to self-catheter. Patients who have muscular dystrophy may also benefit from using power seating systems on their wheelchairs.


Power tilt could also help users who are starting to have discomfort and lack the muscles in their hands and feet to move into a more comfortable position independently. For patients suffering from pressure sores, power recline could be beneficial to help relieve them.


Power Tilt on Electric Wheelchairs

There are two types of power tilt that can be found on an electric wheelchair’s seating systems. They are anterior tilt and posterior tilt.


Anterior Tilt

Anterior Tilt - Power Tilt Wheelchair - DMR

Image Source: Permobil

Anterior tilt allows the user to control the angle between the seat and the ground, tilting the chair’s back up from the normal driving position.


  • Helps deal with tone and abnormal reflexes, which could hinder with function.
  • Provides a lower front seat-to-floor height that increases the possibility of getting as close to a surface as possible because of the position of the lower extremities.
  • Aids with assistive reach, increasing independent mobility, and performing activities of daily living (ADL), such as self-care, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and more.
  • May help assist in digestion and speech production.
  • May lessen the risk of upper extremity injury related to lateral and overhead reaching.


Posterior Tilt

Posterior Tilt - Power Tilt Wheelchair - DMR

Image Source: Sunrise Medical

On the other hand, posterior tilt means the seat tilts posteriorly without the need to change the seat-to-back support angle or the seat-to-lower leg support angle.


  • Helps relieve pressure through the shifting of the weight of a user’s buttocks to their back for a limited time.
  • Assists with maintaining a more stable posture with the assist of gravity to hold the user’s body upright.
  • Less likely for a user to lose access to drive control or orientation of postural supports to the body because the seat-to-back support angle remains the same.
  • Helps in keeping a user from falling forward.
  • Reduces the risk for postural hypotension and helps lower blood pressure for those at risk for autonomic dysreflexia.


Power Recline on Electric Wheelchairs
Power Recline and Power Tilt Wheelchair - DMR

Image Source: Permobil

Power recline allows users to change the seat-to-back angle without changing the seat angle with respect to the ground.


  • Helps reduce the risk of digestive complications and makes catheterization easier.
  • Reduces the risk for postural hypotension and helps lower blood pressure for those at risk for autonomic dysreflexia.
  • Provides postural stability for users with trunk weakness.
  • Helps manage spasticity or abnormal reflexes.
  • Provides additional pressure relief when combined with power tilt feature.
  • May reduce transfers during the day to allow for toileting and perineal care done in the electric wheelchair.

However, please consider that when using a higher degree of orientation of power recline on electric wheelchairs, the user will likely lose access to the headrest, drive controls, and switches. Also, there is an increased risk for shear forces when used apart from the power tilt feature of the electric wheelchair.



To summarize, power tilt and recline are some of the power seating systems a user can have in an electric wheelchair. Both provide different benefits that will help achieve continuous independent mobility and comfort in an electric wheelchair.


We also talked about how these power seating systems can increase a person’s functionality and aid users with daily tasks. We hope this article helped you see the benefits of the two power seating systems found in some electric wheelchair models.


Thank you for reading this article. If you want to learn more about electric wheelchairs and urological supplies, you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter. If you have other inquiries or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here. We’d be happy to assist you.


Banner Image Source: Sunrise Medical

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