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Power Chairs vs manual chairs for Paras : opinions, experience?

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    #16
    It depends on your lifestyle and how much you are limited. As others have mentioned both have their advantages and disadvantages. I have been using an iGlide power assist since 2003 because my shoulders were gone and it was something that would help spare my shoulders and fit in with my lifestyle and other circumstances. I wish it had been available 10 years earlier when I was starting to feel the pain. I am certain that I would not be hurting as badly as I am now. Pattherat is in the process of getting a great add-on power assist to market that will be a great alternative to my iGlide, which is no longer sold.

    On the other hand, if I was back living on the farm, as I was in my early post injury years, a power chair would have been great. A manual chair really limited me because of the rough terrain. Similarly, if I was into hunting or something like that, a power chair, even a 4 wheel drive would be great.

    Some guys give you the “use it or lose it” bit about the shoulders, but that is without foundation. If you are not using your hands and arms for wheeling, you are still going to be using them for their intended purpose. They did not evolve.to endure use as legs, do transfer activities, etc.

    The downsides to conventional power chairs are size, weight, and reliability. Power assists get away from some of those issues. However, unless you have a joystick operated system like pattherat’s, they do not give you a free hand to use when moving around.

    The other downside to relying on power assist or full power is the increased tendency to gain weight. Less effort = less calories burned. In my active, manual chair days, I ate about 3500 calories a day to maintain my weight. Since I have started using a power assist and am retired, I have to average about 2000 calories to keep from gaining weight.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

    Comment


      #17
      What are some good chairs for a functioning para. I'm at the stage where I have to look at some. My insurance will pay for everything and my wife says the way the economy is, I should take their offer before it gets even worse.

      Looking at the M300 Permobile but it is huge and looks unwielding. I was prepared to pay for the Pat's ZX-1 til flooding in my house changed it. So will go with the pc til I save enough for his innovation.

      Like SCI-OTR says, it not a matter of if,it's a matter of when. I did all the right things in keeping them strong and still do but time does take it's toll.

      So any suggestions for a good part-time pc for a strong yet damaged para. Money is not the prime motivator here, effriciency is.

      Comment


        #18
        SCI55 thanks hugs buddy


        Gang
        I bought 2nd hand chairrs because I was on my own 7 months after my injury date I was back at home on my own and have been independent for many many years


        2ndly I am totally independent too being I am a girl and the extent of my upper body damage I try to save my shoulders as I rely on my arms for everything .

        Have a good day GL

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
          What are some good chairs for a functioning para. I'm at the stage where I have to look at some. My insurance will pay for everything and my wife says the way the economy is, I should take their offer before it gets even worse.

          Looking at the M300 Permobile but it is huge and looks unwielding. I was prepared to pay for the Pat's ZX-1 til flooding in my house changed it. So will go with the pc til I save enough for his innovation.

          Like SCI-OTR says, it not a matter of if,it's a matter of when. I did all the right things in keeping them strong and still do but time does take it's toll.

          So any suggestions for a good part-time pc for a strong yet damaged para. Money is not the prime motivator here, effriciency is.
          pat, you would have been done long ago if you had not pushed yourself. you know this. you and other old jocks like scott pellet are gimp rockstars in my eyes. do what you need to do, you have earned a break. you arent one of the lazy slack asses,mucho respect my friend.

          if i had "saved my shoulders" for the last 23yrs i'd have been dead 10 yrs ago at least.
          Bike-on.com rep
          John@bike-on.com
          c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
          sponsored handcycle racer

          Comment


            #20
            I have both. I hardly never use the powerchair except when it is too much snow in the winter and I get crazy to stay inside. But I can't make any shopping with it. Noone can lift a power chair with me inside up the steps to the shops and the cafes and pubs and restaurants. So I use my manuell, but I like to wheel and I can wheel a lot in the summer. I go to town and wheel around just for the exercise. But I am a low, incomplete para and I don't have any troubles with the shoulders.

            I wonder how the power wheels are working in the snow, anybody have any experience?
            TH 12, 43 years post

            Comment


              #21
              "NW-Will,"
              As I predicted, you got opinions form "rah!rah! to practical. The bottom line for you is do what suits you and what you need and want to do. It is your life to live and enjoy.

              All the best,
              GJ

              Comment


                #22
                THanks John, I don't regret doing what I did for all these years and thankfully still do what is nec. to maximize my potential. I ws fortunate that I was involved with very active people and a good sp orts program when i went thur rehab. Rick Hansen, Terry Fox, Gene Reimer, Stan Stronge; we all pushed each other. I feel blessed for the opprotunities I had.

                I Can still handcycle which was my main concern and continue to workout in the gym with a trainer, proper form and function is esstential and at home.

                I really don't consider anyone as a slck lazy ass; more likely they are just someone who is not physically inclined to be active. Not my place to judge, but continue to encourage them to get ut there and move. It doesn't take much, can be as little as a few rubber strength bands to do a full work out; upper and lower body.

                Stay strong buddy and good luck in Cleveland.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Originally posted by SCI_OTR View Post
                  In an ideal world, everyone should have both. Unfortunately, our current system discourages development of the types of mobility equipment that would represent "the right tools for the job".

                  I sincerely hope one of the major manufacturers takes a serious look at patherat's ZX1.

                  A purpose-specific para powerchair would be an intriguing concept. Something like a lightweight P222SE. Quickie is content to simply continue offering the P222 in its current form until there is no longer any demand for it.

                  Take the basic P222SE concept, reduce the footprint with a different front frame/hanger design, design it for a weight capacity to 265 lbs., eliminate the need to make it compatible with power seating, power it with Lithium ion batteries, and include a detachable joystick that would allow it do be driven remotely onto a lift or ramp...

                  ...Needless speculation. It will never happen.
                  The companies seem hooked to lead-acid batteries and will not let go. That is where the weight and bulk come from. Not just the battery but the heavy frame needed to support it. I am assuming that it is a cost issue, but I wonder if it is real. If not lithium, NiMH are a much better alternative and the price of them has dropped considerably. I have to believe that Medicare idiocy enters into the equation somehow. It pains me to see people struggling to maneuver those wheelchair equivalents of an 18 wheeler around when they could be riding around in the equivalent of a 52 lb. iGlide with a joystick.
                  You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
                  http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

                  See my personal webpage @
                  http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
                    Some guys give you the “use it or lose it” bit about the shoulders, but that is without foundation. If you are not using your hands and arms for wheeling, you are still going to be using them for their intended purpose. They did not evolve.to endure use as legs, do transfer activities, etc.
                    How I wish physiotherapists had grasped this concept back in the 1970s!

                    Even us quads were supposed to push around in chrome plated E&J folding chairs weighing in at ~ 50 lbs. because of the good it was doing us.

                    Oh! My aching shoulders!

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
                      and continue to workout in the gym with a trainer, proper form and function is esstential and at home.
                      I am so jealous wish I had a trainer..if you know of any in SFL--let me know..

                      I had to go to a power assist for a few years..because of serious over use issues..I worked full time and my job required a lot of travel..

                      But eventually things calmed down (solution to overuse--don;t use ) but I was getting heavier..went to 148!! I got my new chair..pics in my profile! and now I am back to 128! and getting my nice arms back again.

                      That power assist chair is in the garage..IF I ever hurt myself again..I am blessed to have it...but I hope not to have to for a LOONNNG time.

                      However that being said..I probably couldnt push independantly as much as I would need to if I didn;t have my husband to help me when we are traveling etc..and outside my comfort zone..so..it works for me as I have a break when I need it..

                      so if I had to go downtown and go up horrible justice building ramp and dangerous ramps in street alone...would I just charge up and hop back in my power assist? I guess I would have to..
                      Last edited by sherocksandsherolls; 31 Mar 2011, 1:33 PM.
                      "The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.” ~Carlos Castaneda

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Originally posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
                        I really don't consider anyone as a slck lazy ass; more likely they are just someone who is not physically inclined to be active. Not my place to judge, but continue to encourage them to get ut there and move. It doesn't take much, can be as little as a few rubber strength bands to do a full work out; upper and lower body.
                        Thank you! I was not into sports as an AB, so it was kind of depressing at first when everyone tried to encourage me with all the activities available for "us people". I was in great physical shape, but it was from work, not workouts. My exercise consisted of 10 sit-ups each morning. Now, I spend more in energy getting out of bed. Instead of a few rubber strength bands, I pull wet Levis out of the washer. I'm still in pretty good shape for 'a mature woman'.
                        ____________________

                        "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
                        - Barack Obama

                        Comment


                          #27
                          I never tried a power chair, c7 complete, 33 years.
                          one might come in handy doing yardwork when you're carrying something, but i figured the manual one helps me active and fit.
                          We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
                          Ronald Reagan

                          Comment


                            #28
                            I have a progressive neuro disease, so I spent years as a para, and am now a quad.

                            I really loved my manual chair. I kept mine for a year and a half after I could use it in vague hopes of some kind of remission. Even places that weren't properly accessible, I could transfer to the stairs, throw my wheelchair up the stairs or pull it up with a cord, and get back in at the top. I could go to a restaurant with a step or two without major fuss, or fit in small bathrooms. I could go to parties at my extended families houses.

                            Now I can't hold up my head or sit up long, and I need a powerchair. I have a Permobil c300 and I like it. It is pretty compact, fully featured, and fits well. But it isn't the same at all. Me and it together weigh about 450 lbs... I can't go into that restaurant with just two steps, and that makes for a lot of awkward moments. I have one family member's house that I can get into and I haven't see a thanksgiving a few years. I need a wheelchair van. Plus, there's just something about manual wheeling... I remember the first time I was going to miss a long light in my PWC, and realizing that I was at max speed, there simply was no faster to go. I couldn't even TRY to rush. It's a whole 'nother step away from walking, that way. It is less physically pleasing on the whole.

                            Overall, if I'd had a powerchair early, I don't think I would have used it much. But if you're not progressive, you have to think of your shoulders. Imagine when you'd use it, and if that's a few times a week, go for it.

                            Comment


                              #29
                              Originally posted by Timaru View Post
                              How I wish physiotherapists had grasped this concept back in the 1970s!

                              Even us quads were supposed to push around in chrome plated E&J folding chairs weighing in at ~ 50 lbs. because of the good it was doing us.

                              Oh! My aching shoulders!
                              I used that same chair for 12 years after my accident till my shoulder's started hurting then my SCI doctor told me I needed a electric chair.
                              I can do so much more in electric chair and my shoulder stoped hurting about a year later.
                              As far as exercise you get plenty if you do r pressure relief every 15 minutes for 30 seconds plus all the tranfers you do in a day.
                              I still use that old e&j since it is still the only chair I can bend over and and do things without the bars hitting my legs and cause a sore.
                              I tried different chair with a pt and they cannot find me a chair that when you bend over will not cause my legs from hitting the bars.
                              Since when I bend over my legs like to go outwards and pt said the e&j was still the best chair for not doing this.
                              This was about 5 years ago when I got my new electric chair.
                              Rule is shoulder's start to hurt time for electric as told to me by SCI.
                              Chairs are replaceable r shoulder are not.
                              If you can go 50 years in a manual without shoulder pain go for it.
                              We are all different.
                              If I use my manual today for more than a few days my shoulders just kill me.
                              I think its more of the same motion over and over with the pressure that kills me.
                              If I go backwards it does not bother me....so if you see someone going backwards in there chair its me.....lmao.

                              Art
                              Art

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                                #30
                                With the e-motion M 15 battery powered wheels, I have the best of both worlds. I propel the w/c with the use of my arms but, can adjust them to the needs of my arms. I wouldn't have anything else. Plenty of range with the battery power, am able to keep a normal w.c. to get into tight spots, etc. I love it. I am 67 years old, T 11 para. Post 2.5 years.
                                I refuse to tip toe through life, only to arrive safely at death.

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