Standing Wheelchairs: Rehabilitation for Quadriplegics

wheelchair standing wheelchair quadriplegic tetraplegic rehabilitation rehab

 

Understanding Quadriplegia


Quadriplegia, or also known as tetraplegia, is partial or full paralysis of all four limbs and torso, caused by either an injury or disease. Quadriplegics usually have no motor control or senses in the affected limbs. A common misconception is that tetraplegics suffer from physical damage to their limbs, but the damage is actually to the spinal cord, affecting the motor and sensory system. Their limbs can be perfectly fine, but unfortunately completely unusable or only partially usable. 


Effects of Quadriplegia


Quadriplegics are usually wheelchair bound or bed-ridden, and suffer from a range of health problems that are collateral to being partially or fully paralyzed. Among the effects of quadriplegia are:


  • Muscle spasticity; sudden tightening of the muscles in the affected area that can sometimes be very painful.
  • Permanent loss of sensation in the affected areas, and areas below them.
  • Muscle atrophy from being paralyzed, that causes chronic pain in the affected area.
  • Respiratory problems and possible infections due to lack of overall movement.
  • Bodily sores, namely bed sores from being seated on bed-ridden for long hours at a time.
  • Change or loss in fertility and sexual functionality
  • Diminishing of mental health, mainly resulting in major lack of confidence, anxiety and depression.

Even those who can potentially recover for quadriplegia may suffer from these effects permanently unless they are handled well. Anything that can help reduce the effects of quadriplegia should be taken into consideration and one of the highly recommended solutions is the use of a Standing Wheelchair.


How Standing Wheelchairs Can Help Quadriplegics


Standing Wheelchairs are wheelchairs that can change from a sitting position to standing position. Although there are manual standing wheelchairs, modern day designs are all fully motorized and everything works with only the push of a few levers and buttons. Very minimal strength and mobility is required to operate standing wheelchairs, making them one of the best equipment to assist patients who suffer from paralysis.


How Standing wheelchairs help tetraplegics::


  • Users can change their position from sitting to standing almost effortlessly. Some standing wheelchairs are even able to recline to a 180 degree horizontal position. This change of position helps prevent muscle spasticity and improve blood circulation.
  • When in standing position, the weight of the user is shifted and distributed better. This helps with keeping the spine healthy.
  • Long hours of wheelchair usage can cause bed sores and other bodily sores. Being able to change positions can help hinder such effects. 
  • A very important benefit from using a standing wheelchair is the ability to be more independent. Independence promotes confidence and better self-esteem. When a patient has better self-esteem, they recover better. 

To learn more about the benefits of standing wheelchairs, you can read them here.