• The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

Daily Life & Mobility

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Personal care and clothing
Particular aspects of the skin in people with spinal cord injury (SCI) The skin of the disabled body parts is more likely to dry out since the innervation1 of the skin glands does not function properly. Temperature-regulating perspiration is only possible above the paralysis level, although vegetative perspiration may occur, which is triggered by a malfunction in the vegetative nervous system (especially in people with tetraplegia). Due to the lack of sensitivity or reduced sensitivity, the...
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Moving in bed – different positions
People spend between a quarter and a third of their lives in bed; wheelchair users frequently even more. The manner and frequency with which we turn over in bed and change positions vary from one person to the next, as do the requirements for mattresses and storage material. The objective for people with a spinal cord injury is also to sleep with as few materials as possible to hold you in position. Why different positions make sense Skin that is exposed to stress is at risk of developing...
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Mobilisation / Transferring
What do I need to consider with regard to the shoulders? The shoulder is the most heavily-strained joint with regard to mobilisation – that applies to sitting up and transferring. It is therefore important to protect the shoulders whenever it is possible, e.g. the patient should never be pulled by his / her arms to help him / her sit up, and should never pull himself / herself up with a trapeze or a bar. How can other people help with transferring? When transferring, caregivers should...
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Seating position in the wheelchair
Principles – Vertebral physiology The pelvis is the foundation for the spine. The spine can only be brought into a natural posture if the pelvis is in an upright position. The pelvis, spine, line of sight and balance are interrelated and affect each other. Natural seating position How the seating position affects everyday activities The seating position affects all everyday activities greatly. Poor seating posture makes activities difficult, such as wheelchair handling and all targeted...
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Spinal cord injury and age
Old with a youthful spirit This is an inescapable fact, even if no-one would actually like it to happen: Your hair turns grey, you develop wrinkles, joint pain sets in, you become increasingly forgetful and there is a deterioration in your strength, movement and sight. Everyone experiences this ageing process and must deal with the consequences, with diminishing independence to a greater or lesser degree in their daily routine. Ageing does not stop for people with spinal cord injuries...
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Working and professional life
It may strike you as strange that we will ask you during your initial rehabilitation what your plans are for continuing to work. In fact, the path back to work is an important part of the individual rehabilitation process, as well as of your personal well-being. Work is healthy and helps a person to feel alive and like a valuable member of society. Considering this early on is fundamental – including involving your existing employer, social security providers and private insurers....
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Leisure and hobby
What do you think of when you hear the word hobbies? Swimming, skiing, camping, knitting, working in the garden, watching a film or reading a book? Hobbies are very individual. They reflect who we are and what we consider to be important. Social activities are an important part of our life. The idea of going out in public in a wheelchair can be intimidating at first. Part of your rehabilitation involves getting used to your new situation. However, it gets easier every time. There are various...
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Travel
During the initial period after rehabilitation, you may tend to stay relatively close to home, only going to familiar places. You will only set your sights further afield with time. Perhaps you have already left the centre during rehabilitation to attend group events or to go out with friends or family and have had your first experiences with public transport and facilities. Making trips with a wheelchair takes a bit more planning and organisational thought, as well as a degree of flexibility...
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Everyday wheelchair actions
Kerbs, steps, ramps, pavements with a camber and escalators: wheelchair users have to overcome a number of impediments every day. Therefore, it is vital to know the techniques for coping with these obstacles, with and without the assistance of other people. In this section, you will be shown a range of techniques for getting around obstacles and for coping with everyday wheelchair difficulties, aided and unaided. Please bear in mind that these options are only some of many. Technical...
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Wheelchair or handbike - which one is better for the shoulder?
The hands are gripping the handrim and propelling the wheels forward with pressure - day by day, year by year. This is the normal way many wheelchair users are usually moving around and half of them are suffering from pain caused by daily mobility. The causes are manifold and it is often unclear what exactly causes it. The research team of the group “Shoulder Health and Mobility" of Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF) pursues the approach that the shoulder load during wheelchair propulsion is too...
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Household
To perform household tasks can be a big challenge for people with a spinal cord injury (SCI): cooking, doing the dishes and laundry, but also opening packages with only limited arm/hand function. A tetraplegic person with a complete lesion at the level C1-C4 is fully dependent on assisting people. People with a lesion level of C6-C8 can perform certain activities independently, like preparing simple meals or doing easy household tasks. People with a paraplegia are also able to carry out more...
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Adaptation of living space
{id-box} A comprehensively designed living space is a fundamental need and it influences the individual's quality of life immensely. In order to be independent, it is essential that structural barriers are removed and avoided for persons with spinal cord injury (SCI). {/id-box} The first step towards eliminating structural barriers for persons with SCI is an on-site evaluation of the living space. This means that the needs of this person are determined precisely, the available building...
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Level of independence in relation to the lesion level
In case of a spinal cord injury, the lesion level, i.e. the part where the spinal cord is injured, has a crucial meaning: depending on where this part is exactly located, it determines the functional options, i.e. which activities the injured persons will be able to do at the end of the rehabilitation process and for which ones they will be dependent on support. It also determines which assistive devices they will need in everyday life. The following table gives an overview of which lesion...
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Rehabilitation of the functions of arm and hand in tetraplegics
The arms and hands of wheelchair users are taking over most leg functions. Therefore, it is important to take care of them as well as to train and use them as much as possible from the beginning. Aspects of optimal rehabilitation of the upper limbs: positioning of the upper limbs functional hand functional training and activities of daily life (ADL) functional electrical stimulation robotics surgeries for functional improvements Positioning of the upper limbs For tetraplegic...
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Electronic devices – environmental control, computer usage and communication
At a spinal cord injury (SCI) level where hand and arm muscles are only partially innervated or not at all (tetraplegics), many daily activities such as pressing a common TV remote control, grasping the telephone receiver or pressing the light switch can become impossible. However, this loss of independence may be partly substituted through the use of assistive technologies. To enter information, various sensors such as sensing devices, press switches, control through levers, sucking and...

Recommendations

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Mobilisation / Transferring
What do I need to consider with regard to the shoulders? The shoulder is the most heavily-strained joint with regard to mobilisation – that...
0
Moving in bed – different positions
People spend between a quarter and a third of their lives in bed; wheelchair users frequently even more. The manner and frequency with which we turn...
0
Level of independence in relation to the lesion level
In case of a spinal cord injury, the lesion level, i.e. the part where the spinal cord is injured, has a crucial meaning: depending on where this...
Forum
Most Recent Answers
4222 odyssita
Explaining what life with a chronic disability is like
Hi cAro, all the best for your research! I am very curious to hear about the results once they are being published. Thank you for researching this...
6 odyssita 2018-05-02
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Scewo
Good news for all who would like to try out the Scewo by themselves: according the Scewo constructors, the feedback on their invention was so...
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Ask the Expert
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Blog
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Wiki
Most Read
Anatomy and physiology of respiration
Breathing is the most normal thing in the world for us. We hardly think about it, even though we breathe in and out about 20,000 times per day. We breathe more when we are active and exerting ourselves, and we breathe less when we are...
Contractures
What are contractures and how do they develop? Contractures are shortenings of muscles, tendons or ligaments that have a limiting effect on the movements of the joints. The normal ability to move a joint is lost. Contractures are frequently...
Suctioning
In some cases, support is needed for cleaning the nasopharyngeal space and keeping it free from secretion. For this purpose, suctioning is performed through the nose and, if necessary, the mouth. This is particularly necessary if the nose cannot be...

About the Community
Most Recent Topics
2019-11-19 In Latest
The car-sharing breakthrough for wheelchair users
Soon it won’t be a dream anymore to car-share as a wheelchair user. Recently, the world’s first car-sharing system for wheelchair users called “WheeM-i” has been showcased at the GITEX Technology...
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2019-10-24 In Latest
Free Tickets to Swiss Handicap 2019
Swiss Handicap will take place again in Lucerne this year on 29th and 30th November with the theme “work”. Over 100 exhibitors will gather at this unique national trade fair to promote independence...
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2019-10-22 In Latest
Adaptive Halloween Costumes
Last-minute preparation is rarely possible for people with disabilities. However, it’s feasible this year for children with disabilities who like to dress up for trick or treat. Target, one of the...
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Contact

Swiss Paraplegic Research
Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4
6207 Nottwil
Switzerland

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T 0800 727 236 (from Switzerland, free of charge)
T +41 41 939 65 55 (from other countries, charges apply)

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