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Need Input on tilt in space vs. recline back power w/chair.

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  • Need Input on tilt in space vs. recline back power w/chair.

    I've had quadriplegia for 29 and use a Quickie 646 power w/chair that doesnt looking to possibly get my first recline or tilt in space w/chair and not sure which one to get, A power recline with the no shear option or a tilt in space..I know you can get both options but that would sit me 2" higher vs. the 1" for just one option..I already sit very tall in my chair and getting in and out a van a concern...
    I'm wondering about the reliability of these types of chairs..anyone have any input on that? Can you get stuck while reclining? My other concern is how well my condom catheter would drain in a tilt in space? The urine would have to travel uphil in a tilt in space..i def.dont want my bladder filling up too quickly and popping off a cath.
    Also, I'm not crazy about having a taller back height as I feel it would limit my mobility,like getting a coat on and off..I have pretty good movement of my arms (c6/7quad) or hook one of my push handles to lean over to pick most objects up..
    I'm in my chair for about 13 hrs.a day and am getting a little more tired during the day than I used too...I find myself leaning sideways on a table or desk to rest my neck muscles...but I think that could be contributing to the curvature I've been getting in my spine..
    I get some swelling in my feet too...I'm thinking tilt in space would help that out also...
    How do others adjust to the headrest? Do any flip down to get out of the way? I don't think I'd like feeling it behind my head when I'm not using the recline..
    I'm looking to stick with the Quickie as I've had fairly good luck with them..any thoughts on the Invacare or Permobil?
    I drive my van from the w/chair,so being able to pull over and recline if I need too would be good for me.
    Thanks for any input you can offer. As you all know,going with a diff type chair your stuck with for 5 yrs. is a big decision...but I'll keep my 646 for a backup too.

  • #2
    Sounds like you need to do a consult with a really good therapist.

    You can get any height back you want on a tilt only.

    Most people adjust the headrest so they only come in contact with it when they tilt or recline.

    As far as thoughts on which brand to get.... In my shop we have a saying "Quickie makes power?" Meaning we don't sell quickie power. Over the last 2 decades we have had too many problems to even try them again. Pride is getting to just about at the same position. Invacare verses Permobil..... I prefer Invacare. Invacare does have their problems, however, they are less then everybody else. From a "end users" perspective, Permobil is a great chair. From a "dealers" perspective, they are not as easy to deal with as Invacare.

    If you came into my shop, this is what I would recommend: I would have you try a Invacare TDXsp and a Invacare Torque3 both with tilt and a shorter back. Both of those chairs can be ordered with a 17.5" seat to floor height.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      After years of usind a standard seating elec chair i now have a tilt in space and love it,great for pressure relief,laying back for a nap or just reclining to watch a movie. I generally dont use the head rest but can put it on if i need it.
      I did try an electronic recline back only on another chair but it was nowhere near as comfortable and really a waste of time compared to tilt in space tho if i could have both functions i would be even happier.


      • #4
        I agree with Jake that you need to talk with a good therapist. That being said, I don't have an SCI but have had tilt-in-space on my last three powerchairs and can't imagine doing without. I have never had a breakdown though that's always been a fear of mine that while I'm out I get stuck in a reclined position, then what? It does make the chair a few inches higher and certainly heavier but as I said I can't imagine living without it. I use a manual when I'm out but at home I change positions with the tilt-in-space dozens of times every day, trying to relieve back pain. If I didn't have it, I would have to be laying down frequently. It's been great to have it when I've been out (powerchair broken down now so not taking it out now). Being out and needing that relief and being able to take it anywhere I am has been a godsend.

        I have no experience with SCI so others can respond to that. Good luck :-)


        • #5
          I am a C5-C6 quad for the last 45 years. I just got an Invacare TDX-SP with elevator seat and Tilt-in-Space. I never had a problem with pressure ulcers until last year. Once I got this chair, I haven't even had a red spot. I know you can get an Invacare with a non-shearing feature, but you need a headrest if you're going to be driving or riding in a car/van. By the way, you do not touch the headrest unless you lean your head in a car. I would never ever drive a vehicle that did not have a headrest, which is how I broke my neck to start with (driving a vehicle with no headrest).

          Good luck with your decision.

          ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne


          • #6
            Tilt is great. No problem draining a catheter. There is a lot of pressure in the bladder. I sleep in my powerchair every SAT night with my chair tilted as far back as it will go. My leg bag on my calf will fill completely up even though it is much higher than my head.
            C 5/6 Comp.
            No Tri's or hand function.

            Far better it is to try mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure. Than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows neither victory or defeat.

            Teddy Roosevelt


            • #7
              Quickie makes excellent power chairs, in particular they make the really tough chairs that many of our veterans use! I just got a p222 se with an Amy tilt system. It is narrow and tough design!! The 646 is an excellent chair. It is a tad wider than the 222.
              I would go for tilt over recline. I know one of the leg bags that is tan and reusable has a one-way valve right at the tip so you will not get back-flooded. I would work directly with a knowledgable Sunrise Medical Rep and a seating clinic to get a custom STF system that would both suit your sight lines in the van and keep your transfer heights to workable levels. If you really like the 646, I might inquire with a long-time Sunrise rep what is possible. If you look at AmyPower chairs out of Canada, it looks just like a 646 with their tilt on it. I am mentioning this as a lot of the newer tilt systems allow for a much lower STF than chair that use older designed tilt systems. They tried to get me to consider a slightly taller backheight but I politely requested the 16" as I have been in this height for 30+ years. I did allow a head rest which does help with tilt. It can be taken on and off without tools if need be or if you hate it after giving it a try.

              Also, I get my chairs to last 15+ years. A well designed chair should last that long with proper maintenance. If it cant, it's junk designed for people at the later stages of life. A chair that you need should fit you like a prosthetic and last just as long!
              I think the buzzword for this is "Complex Rehab".

              Lastly, in my opinion Invacare & Pride are much cheaper quality/plasticy designs. If you are used to the power of RWD, I would not switch to FWD or MWD. Permobils have a very large "footprint" and are very expensive to repair. I found Quickie to have the narrowest footprint and shortest measurement on the diagonal-important for taking 90 degree turns in narrow spaces like hallways. Hope this helps!

              Good Luck in your evaluations! Remember to demo, demo, demo!!



              • #8
                I think tilt and recline both have benefits. Power recline and power leg rests allow you to straighten out your body periodically. Recline should not add height to a chair.


                • #9
                  OK to demystify my screen name it refers to a TDX SP TiltReclineelevateelevating leg rests
                  so i have the upgraded joystick with 4 programable drives, all of the power functions with a back that comes up to just below my shoulders and a curved headrest my my stock arms where replaced with large gel pads and my controller is on a quad link i can use any of the power features thru the joystick using a button and the joystick or on the opposite side from my controller i have four micro switches that let me access the functions directly using a singe switch. And i have to say Invacare's TDX SP/SR series of chairs are a spectacular platform for the tilt pectin to be built on to,i have had mine since November 07 and i have replaced the batteries and thats it no failures, no breakdowns, no waiting for parts, zip zero nada not a single problem or breakdown of my chair since i brought into my life. And if i where to go out to buy a new chair tomorrow i would buy the same chair again!!