The hands of a manual wheelchair owner hold tremendous power. They are the engine, the steering, and the brakes. They are the heart of a chair owners mobility.They also take a great deal of abuse.A wheelchair owners hands are exposed to constant friction and heat generated by pushing, stopping and turning. They are numbed and desensitized in cold and wet weather. Active and athletic owners are particularly vulnerable to the damage and irritation caused by constant use and exposure. In fact, At least 18% of all wheelchair users experience blisters, abrasions, and lacerations. Many more develop thick, rough calluses.Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: A Wheelchair User's EnemyEven more importantly, according to studies performed by Dr H.Gellman and his team from Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center in California, 49% of parapalegic patients showed signs and symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, a potentially debilitating condition. Dr. Coopers and Dr. Robertson of California State University report, Research in this area suggests that carpal tunnel syndrome may be the result of nerve compression which occurs during forceful exertions with the hand and wrist in hyperflexion or hyperextension. Repetitive strikes of the heel of the hand against the push rim may cause pain and numbness of the thumb and fingers.Hands were simply not designed to withstand the repetitive impact and constant contact with wheelchair pushrims. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the effects of constant stress and exposure to the hands. Many researchers strongly recommend the use of properly designed wheelchair gloves to minimize hand injury.Wheelchair Gloves Can Provide ReliefProperly designed wheelchair gloves can provide: Protection against skin damage caused by starting, stopping and turning the wheelchair. Protection against injury caused by vibrations and repeated impact. Improved stopping and maneuverability Comfort in cold or wet weatherUnfortunately, many gloves marketed as wheelchair gloves fail. They fall apart under intense usage, or worse, are inappropriate for the lifestyles of their owners. The requirements of an athlete can be different from a moderately active person who is using a wheelchair in cold weather, while the needs of a person with limited hand function are different from those of a person who is experiencing a great deal of vibration or impact to the hand. It is important that every active wheelchair user protect their hands using quality wheelchair gloves which were designed for their specific need.