With the right equipment, a quadriplegic can make the impossible possible. For example, Dr. House, a C7 quadriplegic, recently climbed 13 miles to the top of Pikes Peak, Colorado for the fifth time - in a wheelchair! (Watch the video.) The most important thing a quadriplegic can do is to get educated about all of the options available. Become a student of their own body. Stop being a “patient” and become a “partner” in the wheelchair fitting process. In this article, we provide some thoughts that will hopefully help you in your education about available mobility options for quadriplegics.
Is there a benefit to power assist wheelchair use? Algood SD, Cooper RA, Fitzgerald SG, Cooper R, and Boninger ML address the question in their article, Impact of a push rim-activated power-assisted wheelchair on the metabolic demands, stroke frequency, and range of motion among subjects with tetraplegia. The study focuses on users with spinal cord injuries, but the results can be applied more generally. Here's a summary of what the article discussed:
It’s common knowledge that physical activity is imperative for our health. It can help prevent high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, arthritis and many other conditions. There are many sports and activities wheelchair users can get involved in to stay active. How about a little wheelchair freestyle, for example? Check out this video!
There are many common issues linked to long-term manual wheelchair propulsion that a power assist wheelchair can help with.
If you are in a manual wheelchair, then you have undoubtedly seen the advantages that it can offer you in your daily life over a power chair. Some of the benefits of a manually-propelled chair when compared to its joystick-controlled counterpart, are: Independence Exercise Transportability Cost However, there can also be many drawbacks to long-term manual wheelchair use, which include: Fatigue Repetitive stress injuries Lack of powered assistance on inclines and uneven terrain Since our upper extremities were not designed for self-propulsion, the desire to lead an active lifestyle in a manual chair could potentially be derailed over time by the limitations of the shoulders, elbows, and wrists.
The need for a wheelchair is most often unplanned and prompted by an unanticipated life event. When the requirement arises the question of “how to buy a wheelchair?” immediately becomes very relevant. At first glance it seems like a simple question … and perhaps it should be. Unfortunately, this is not exactly the case. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered. This is how to buy a wheelchair, simplified into 6 steps.