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Thread: Hand positioning in wheelchair.

  1. #1
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    Hand positioning in wheelchair.

    Hi

    I'm having some trouble with my hands and wanted to check with people here before I talk to my OT. Basically my mnd started in my arms but then progressed to my legs. As a result I'm now in a wheelchair full time for the past year or so. I still have some movement in my legs but nowhere near enough to stand up or walk. However I can lift my legs a few inches up from the chair one at a time. My hands are almost completely immobile. I can maybe twitch the hands a bit and I have some movements in my shoulders.

    Usually I have someone place my hands on my thighs during the day but lately I've found that the hand from the wrist down tends to twist around and settle into strange and uncomfortable positions. I have tried having them moved again but it doesn't always work. They seem to bend themselves around after a few minutes. I've tried putting my hands up on the arm rests of the chair only to find that they entire arm will eventually fall off and become trapped down between my body and the chair.

    Can anyone advise if they have had similar troubles or if they have any ideas on how to place my hands for more comfort during the day.

  2. #2
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    Hi Mick,

    If you don't have useful hand function, what about hand splints or braces? Or even wear them intermittently during the day if you have some hand function.

    I wear these comfortable splints by DeRoyal, but there are many others available:

    325_fmt.jpg


    Your OT should know what will best suit you. Or maybe a lap cushion would hold your hands in place, providing you're not risking pressure sores, though not ideal for summer weather!! Definitely mention it to the Clinic OT at your next appt.

    How are you doing these days?

    Love Ellie.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Limb Onset.
    Eye gaze user - No working limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

  3. #3
    Forum Member Terry's Avatar
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    Hi Mickmac,

    All sounds very frustrating and a pain.

    I wonder if wheelchair services can get some armrests made up so they are soft and in the shape of a trough. Maybe someone could put sides on the armrests and something that you could put your hand into.

    Failing this, maybe Ellies splints or similar with Velcro on and stick them to the armrests.

    Love Terry
    TB once said that "The forum is still the best source for friendship and information."

    It will only remain so if new people post and keep us updated on things that work or don't work and tips.

    Please post on old threads that are of use so that others see them and feel free to start new subjects and threads.

  4. #4
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    not been able to walk for 2 years so I'm used to that. however my arms are now very weak too. I will soon be applying for the trough idea where my arms can be placed whilst I drive my power chair. I saw a chair the other day and it had an extra control behind the shoulder for the care/wife to use. a good idea I thought.

  5. #5
    Forum Member Terry's Avatar
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    Hi Iron Will;

    THey can be normally be fitted by the wheelchair services and are called a "Attendant Control", you can also get chin and head controls. You can normally switch between them.

    Attendant controls that are fixed to the wheelchair can be very hard to drive smoothly, so maybe a control that can be removed with a extra long wire would be better.

    Love Terry

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Hi Iron Will;

    THey can be normally be fitted by the wheelchair services and are called a "Attendant Control", you can also get chin and head controls. You can normally switch between them.

    Attendant controls that are fixed to the wheelchair can be very hard to drive smoothly, so maybe a control that can be removed with a extra long wire would be better.

    Love Terry
    thanks again Terry.

  7. #7
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    Hi Ellie, where did you order these splints from? I've tried to get the exact same but everyone says that they do not ship to the UK? Thank you, Gemma

  8. #8
    Forum Member Ellie's Avatar
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    My physio gave me them Gemma - they are quite expensive!! but long-lasting and comfortable, provided your hand muscles are not too tight.

    There is one on Amazon, right hand size M, 46. There's a Dublin-based physiotherapy site with the full range of sizes, but they are €81.
    (I'd happily post them to you if UK shipping is very expensive)

    Ask your OT or physio and see if they can give you them, or something similar.

    Love Ellie.
    ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Limb Onset.
    Eye gaze user - No working limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.

  9. #9
    Forum Member Terry's Avatar
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    Hi Gemma,

    Have you checked with your OT and hand therapy at the hospital.

    Love Terry

  10. #10
    Forum Member Sueb's Avatar
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    Steve had similar ones provided by Orthics then he had some that were moulded to is hands.

    Steve can’t use his hands to drive his wheelchair. He uses a foot plate to drive it has he still has some slight movement in his legs and feet. I use the attendant control when needed

    Sue

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