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Weight shift/tilting problem

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  • Weight shift/tilting problem

    For 20 of my 21 years as a quadriplegic, doing a weight shift every 2 hours for 15 minutes has been sufficient. This year, though, if I don't tilt every hour, I notice a red spot on my bottom when I get into bed at night. My cushion is good. My weight is steady. My diet is the same, healthy diet. This is very frustrating and "life interfering". What should I do?

  • #2
    Past performance in this case is no predictor of of future or persent performance.

    You get older. As much as a weight shift may be an inconvience, it is necessary. I dare say most of us have had better skin years ago. You have to take care of your skin. It does not like hearing about what it used to act like.

    Just do it.


    • #3
      Your body must have changed a lot over the past 20 years. You probably need to be pressure mapped on different seat cushions to see which one is best for you since so much has changed. that would be my advice.
      C-5/6, 7-9-2000
      Scottsdale, AZ

      Make the best out of today because yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. Nobody knows that better than those of us that have almost died from spinal cord injury.


      • #4
        Dave, you should shift every 15 to 30 minutes.

        More frequent shifts are a lot less life-interfering that Stage 4 pressure ulcers, months of bed rest, infection from sores or skin-flap and related surgeries.
        Now, it's 8:15 and time for a pressure relief lift on my armrests.


        • #5
          As you get older, sloppy habits around skin care tend to catch up with you. Your skin is not as resilent as it once was. The collegen fibers get stiffer, and less flexible and thicker. Your skin does not heal as well. If you also have diabetes or peripheral vascular microvessel disease, this will get less oxygen to your skin.

          Time now to change those habits. Do weight shifts more often (at least every 30 minutes; every 15 is what is recommended). Get pressure mapped (your cushion may no longer be the right one for you) and a complete seating evaluation. Turn more often in bed, and consider a different sleep surface that is more pressure reducing. If you have not been screened for diabetes, do so.

          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


          • #6
            Thank you for the advice. If I tilt every 15 to 30 minutes, how long should I tilt for?


            • #7
              Originally posted by BigDave
              Thank you for the advice. If I tilt every 15 to 30 minutes, how long should I tilt for?
              Recent research suggests 3' are enough to restore blood supply. Be sure to tilt enough to fully unload your ischials (45° or more).