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Thread: Car transfers kill shoulders

  1. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Southern California
    I hope this pans out as effective and safe. It might be available about the time my shoulders are beyond hope.

    I was at the gym today and things went really well. I'm hopeful my shoulders will recover from this particular episode.

  2. #12
    Here is my take. I have always focused on prevention first philosophy whether its saving shoulders or anything else related to living with SCI. Any joint in the body able bodied or not will eventually fail with overuse. We already over use our shoulders on a daily basis so in my view it makes sense to reduce use whenever and wherever we can and still live active busy lives. So yes it is a balance. Pulling a chair over my body never made sense to me so I abandoned that idea less than 1 year in (34 yrs post now) For the next 30 plus years i went to the Braun Chair Topper ( i used folding chairs with locking footplates like Ti 2GX). i know most people use a rigid frame but the folders served me well.The beaty of the Braun Chair topper is it can go on just about any type vehicle . My preference has been small pick-ups and SUV's I also utilized assist using Smart Drive when it became available There are many types of assist Attachments all have pro's and cons. Many are available slightly used at a much reduced rate if insurance won't cover. I know i am fortunate to have an insurance company that listens to me when i tell how much $ they can save by helping me purchase things that will save my shoulders an ultimately Them mucho$ if i can avoid surgeries that could easily cost 100k or more nursing home stays for rehab etc. In the last year i went to a power chair and I now drive from my chair in a Chevy Silverado with ATC conversion I expect this vehicle to last me the rest of my life. As you may have noticed from my choice of vehicles I prefer to transfer up a little when getting in and use a gravity transfer to exit. I don't go up and to my left very well so i avoid that transfer. Lastly driving from a power chair is an adjustment but it has given me so much freedom and independence that i quickly realized the value of that decision. I can go 6 or 8 places a day with no extra transfers.Most days i do transfer from my manual which i still use in the house and for this i went to an ultra slick sliding board and a bar in garage and then i am good for the day. Lastly i still exercise my shoulders I follow a documented shoulder injury prevention program called S,T.O.M.P.S. and i do seated aerobics and hand cycle with a power assist (Stricker). Sorry so long but i have learned a few things and wanted to pass them along.

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Southeast, USA
    I'm not sure what/if I'm doing it differently, but I don't feel any stress on my shoulders transferring my chair into my car? I grab the camber tube from behind and roll the rear wheels up the door sill until the chair is balanced on the footplate. That way I can remove both rear wheels without having to sit the chair down on the ground. At that point, still balanced on the footplate, I grab the cross bar under the seat and basically bicep curl the frame into the car with my left arm. Then I switch hands on the cross bar and set the frame in the passenger seat with my right arm, again just using my bicep.

    Not sure if it's just the difference in technique or what but I've never felt any strain on my shoulders doing it this way. However, since I have elbow/wrist pain already I definitely feel strain on those joints, so maybe if I had some sort of pre-existing shoulder pain it would be more noticeable during these transfers.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Oddity's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA
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    Me too, Brad. I'm using mostly bicep to lift chair onto lap and over to passenger seat. I use an underhanded grip on the ridgidizer bar as the main lift which doesn't seem to affect my shoulders at all. When I use an overhand grip it does tweak my elbow pain a bit.
    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

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  5. #15
    Senior Member pfcs49's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    NW NJ ***********T12 cmplt since 95
    Loading my chair is no problem.
    But my shoulders and elbows are tired of lifting 200lbs with every transfer!
    69yo male T12 complete since 1995
    NW NJ

  6. #16
    Posted previously in previous discussions, this document has invaluable information about preserving function of your upper extremity joints over time (and is evidence-based):

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  7. #17
    Do you old goats recommend driving from your manual chair or transferring to the car seat? I use a Mazda 5 with a built-in transfer board (the transfer from my chair to car seat is level) and a wheelchair lift (so only positioning the chair to be picked up). Does that seem like a fair enough solution? I'm considering going with an Odyssey next because Adapt Solutions makes an electric transfer board (that raises me to the seat height, and down again to wheelchair height) for the Odyssey and the lift could be installed in the Odyssey as well

  8. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Southern California
    Quote Originally Posted by pfcs49 View Post
    Loading my chair is no problem.
    But my shoulders and elbows are tired of lifting 200lbs with every transfer!
    Anti-grav belt. It's the only answer. Send $1000 to my kickstarter page and you will be among the first to receive one of these amazing devices. Currently under development we already have a working prototype. Just waiting for the tool line to be set up. Patents pending. Without our suppliers in Estonia we would never be able to offer this price!

  9. #19
    I would say it's more overuse leading to muscle fatigue leading to poor form lifting your chair during a transfer than necessarily that specific movement causing a jacked up shoulder. Hope you heal fast.

  10. #20
    Ever consider a more accessible vehicle?you can find good used ones that are already modified,a mini van,Toyota?s or grand caravans have lowered floors. Check out
    good luck

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