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Thread: My first day without my arm rest!

  1. #1

    My first day without my arm rest!

    After 19 years I finally decided to stop using the swing away arm rest on my chair. I always justified keeping them because it gave me some lift to pull my pants up, pressure releases ect. So far transfers are good, got my clothes on and off several times, pressure reliefs are good. The only thing I'm missing about them is when I opened the shades this morning. 3 of the doors in my house have windows in them with sliders at the top of the window. I usually just pull one of my arms out and reach up and push the slide to get the shades open. I had to go get my reacher out of the closet this morning to open the shades. Other than that it's working good.

    I noticed a positive change in my posture without the arm rest. I'm digging it. I feel like such a rookie now. Hahaha.

    Anyone else have pro/cons of getting rid of the arm rest?
    DFW TEXAS- T-10 since March 20th, 1994

  2. #2
    When I was first injured I was set up with them. When I went to shepherd my Pt pulled them off immediately and told me to never use them again. I was very afraid at first because of the same things you stated. I quickly learned that I didn't need them and haven't missed them since.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    You shouldn't do pressure reliefs by lifting up after 19 years. My PT told me to lean forward or to the side, you'll the the same relief and save strain on your shoulders.

    When I used them they were very handy for reaching things, and when I was partying heavily in the early years they saved me from falling out of the chair a time or 10,000.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by rdf View Post
    You shouldn't do pressure reliefs by lifting up after 19 years. My PT told me to lean forward or to the side, you'll the the same relief and save strain on your shoulders.

    When I used them they were very handy for reaching things, and when I was partying heavily in the early years they saved me from falling out of the chair a time or 10,000.

    Yeah, that's what I've heard. It's been 19 years since I went to rehab so I haven't been totally up on the rules for a while. I feel a little freedom without them. Don't think I like the lean forward move....too much pressure on my bladder. Side to side is cool but doesn't feel like much of a relief to my butt. I scoot around and adjust a lot.
    DFW TEXAS- T-10 since March 20th, 1994

  5. #5
    Senior Member flying's Avatar
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    I use my swing away armrests when I fall out of my chair. Crawl back to chair, grab both handrails, and pull myself up and swing my butt around. This would be much harder without the handrails to grab. Otherwise I could do without them.
    T12L1 Incomplete Still here This is the place to be 58 years old

  6. #6
    Senior Member goldnucs's Avatar
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    After having accidentally left one armrest on top of my sister's car before driving out of Manhattan, I never replaced it. I thought about ditching the other but it does help as a brace when I'm driving longer distances. However, the airline broke it last week on my flight from Chicago to Newark, so I've managed for the past 10 days without either. Haven't really missed it except for when I am on a weird sideways incline and need to hang-on. So now I've wrapped an arm over my backrest against the inside of a push handle. I think I actually prefer not having them!
    Rick Goldstein
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  7. #7
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Dumped my armrests the 2nd day I owned my own wheelchair 28yrs ago. No looking back and no regrets ... so much freedom to move this way and that!
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  8. #8
    One of the first things my son did was to tell me "none of my friends use arm rests". Basically he dared me to quit using them which I'm glad I did.
    I have had periodic paralysis all my life. I lost my ability to walk in 2011 beginning with a spinal block, which was used for a hip fracture caused by periodic paralysis.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tall Paul's Avatar
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    How do you transfer without them? I have sturdy armrests and couldn't transfer without them.
    Just another tricky day. C5/6 incomplete, 43 years out.

    You'll get through.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    The arm rest are addictive. If you use them long enough, you will train your body to rely on them, instead of the body doing the work, it is fully capable f doing. In reality, this is moving backward, instead of forward, if you are attempting to do. I lift weights from an older chair. No arm rest and refuse to lean on BACK REST. Took time and work to get there, but am there.

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