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    Armrest?

    Hello everyone. Which are rest does everyone prefer. I am getting a new chair and I'm trying to decide on regular desk arms or tubular. I've never had tubular so I'm interested in others opinions

    #2
    Originally posted by dispatchjen View Post
    Hello everyone. Which are rest does everyone prefer. I am getting a new chair and I'm trying to decide on regular desk arms or tubular. I've never had tubular so I'm interested in others opinions
    I prefer none at all. Why do you feel the need for them?

    Back when I was in rehab a thousand years ago all of the demo chairs (first generation Quickies and Quadras) had armrests and I got used to them. When it came time to order my first chair -- a Quickie 2 -- a para who lived near the rehab facility and who volunteered to teach wheelchair skills put the kibosh on my ordering armrests, for which I am forever grateful. As a T4 complete with no trunk control my balance isn't the greatest, but I've never missed not having armrests (or anti-tippers) -- less is more!
    stephen@bike-on.com

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      #3
      Originally posted by dispatchjen View Post
      Hello everyone. Which are rest does everyone prefer. I am getting a new chair and I'm trying to decide on regular desk arms or tubular. I've never had tubular so I'm interested in others opinions

      Hey Jen,

      My answer would depend on what you use the arm rest for. I've had both and the tublars are nice for pressure relief and balancing. They are also very minimal. However, if you want to use them for resting your arms for long periods of time, I suggest the desk arms as they are much more comfortable. I no longer use arm rests at all, though.

      WG

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        #4
        I really need the for balance especially when I have muscle spasms

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          #5
          Originally posted by dispatchjen View Post
          I really need the for balance especially when I have muscle spasms
          It's just as easy to grab the frame or the wheels when you spasm. Again, it comes down to what you're used to. Chances are if your chair didn't have armrests, you'd adapt to it and probably pretty quickly. And lo and behold you have a chair that suddenly weighs less and is less bulky.
          stephen@bike-on.com

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            #6
            Originally posted by dispatchjen View Post
            I really need the for balance especially when I have muscle spasms

            I'd suggest tubular then.

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              #7
              Hello "dispatchjen,"
              I checked your profile, but I didn't find a disclosure of your level of injury. Rather than make a guess about your particular situation, I will just mention my experience and offer some thoughts. Many paras prefer not to have armrests. Most quads need them and prefer them to help with balance and weight shifts. I am a quad and when I used a manual wheelchair, I had the tubular armrests (at the time there were no options on the chairs I had). I used armrests to help with weight shifts, but I found the tubular ones difficult because even with non slip foam the tube did not offer enough of a surface area and my forearm would slip off of the armrest easily, especially in the case of a spasm, while weight shifting. Waterfall, desk type armrests give you a broader surface for more support.
              Another consideration for armrests is how they attach to the chair. There are Fixed (bolted or welded to the frame), Dual Post (two vertical tubes that insert into the side frame), Single Post/T-arm (one vertical tube that inserts into the side frame), and Flip down/Cantilever (armrest attaches to the back upright canes and can be flipped upward to allow clearance). Of course, your choices are limited by the offerings of the specific wheelchair you are considering. On my manual chairs, I always preferred armrests that I could easily get out of the way to allow me the ability to get closer to a table or desk if necessary and give me the greatest clearance for transfers.

              At the end of the day, it all depends on what works for you and makes you comfortable; not what others do or think you should do.
              All the best,
              GJ
              Last edited by gjnl; 20 Apr 2011, 7:53 PM.

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                #8
                Originally posted by dispatchjen View Post
                I really need the for balance especially when I have muscle spasms
                You stated (in another topic) that you don't need to use a wider accessible bathroom stall, and that if you fall out of your chair or if the chair is tipped over with you in it, that you can just hop right back up by yourself. So given what you say about your physical abilities, high degree of function, and the great physical control of your body, it's strange that you'd need armrests for balance?

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                  #9
                  I don't know anybody under sixty, paras or quads who have armrests on a manuell chair.
                  TH 12, 43 years post

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                    #10
                    Armrest

                    Chick u r correct I did say that and u stick by it. I can get back u if I fall and no I don't need the use if a larger stall. I have alot of upper body strength so much that I can pick my self up but when I have muscle spasms and my body tenses up I don't want to fall out of my chair. It's better to not to fall than to fall risk hurting myself and then pick myself up

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                      #11
                      If you get a zra series 2 you can have mine for free.The DME put them on my chair (even though I specifically told them not too). Took them off as soon as I got the chair and they have never been used.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by dispatchjen View Post
                        Chick u r correct I did say that and u stick by it. I can get back u if I fall and no I don't need the use if a larger stall. I have alot of upper body strength so much that I can pick my self up but when I have muscle spasms and my body tenses up I don't want to fall out of my chair. It's better to not to fall than to fall risk hurting myself and then pick myself up
                        With the amount of physical strength you have and the great control and agility you describe you have over your body, I'm curious how a couple of measly little armrest would prevent you from falling?

                        Further, as stephen212 explained, the wheels and/or frame of a chair should easily suffice, particularly for someone with your abilities, as you've generously shared. That is, unless those spasms completely incapacitate you, leaving you wholly debilitated? If so, your spasms must be extremely violent and severe? But if that's the case, the question still remains - how would 2 little armrest prevent falling?

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                          #13
                          I use the swing away ones, I like them for when I am just hanging around in the chair ..... watching tv or such, and they come out easily, and I don't bother with them the rest of the time. They are a real pain when I break down the chair to put in the car, if I happen to have them on the chair when I leave the house. I really don't think they would be sturdy enough to protect you from falling out if you do have as much a problem w/ spasms a you say.

                          What level are you, it would make it easier to reply appropriately.
                          T7-8 since Feb 2005

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                            #14
                            I only use armrests when I'm home not doing anything. I used the tubular sling away armrests. The only reason I use them is because of I just let my arms hang while I'm sitting there, they fall asleep. I just use armrests to set my arms on one of not doing anything, otherwise they get in the way when I go out.
                            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.

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                              #15
                              I suspect the point that some of you here might be missing is that, while Jen may or may not actually *need* armrests in the sense that she couldn't possibly do without, she just feels safer knowing that she has them. If that sense of security is important to you, Jen, then don't let other people tell you to give it up. The most important question you need to ask yourself, in that case, is whether or not you also want to be able to use the armrests to actually rest your arms on. If the answer is no, get the tubular ones.

                              That being said ... I have some (limited) experience with what full-body spasms can do. They made me tip over backwards three times in as many weeks when I first started doing wheelchair basketball. I've only tipped over once in eleven months while sitting in my regular wheelchair, despite the fact that I never had anti-tippers *or* armrests on the regular, and the basketball wheelchair I use has two very heavy-duty anti-tippers. Point being: I think that if you do have a strong spasm, whatever accessories you do or do not have on your chair aren't going to make much of a practical difference.

                              After four weeks of holding my breath through every basketball practice, I learned that I could avoid the kind of spasms that cause me to tip over by tying my feet a certain way. As far as I can tell, the problems I had were due to the fact that the chairs we use at the club aren't made to measure, so I was always just a tad too uncomfortable in one of those.

                              Therefore, in the interest of maximum safety, my first suggestion to you would be to make absolutely sure you get a chair that seats you comfortably. The best way to do that, of course, is to demo a similarly-measured chair for a while before you order your own, although I realize that might not always be possible. If the chair itself doesn't make much of a difference for you, then I would suggest adjusting your COG to make the chair less tippy. It might not make you *feel* more secure in the same way that having a pair of armrests to grab onto does, but I think it will, in fact, allow you to *be* more secure when a spasm hits.

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