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Thread: quads in manual chairs: opening doors?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cspine's Avatar
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    quads in manual chairs: opening doors?

    i'm trying out a manual chair next few days but i'm not sure how to open doors w/o my power chair. how can i hold it open and push through at the same time? i'm a c-6 quad.

    'The more you dissaprove the more fun it is for me.'

  2. #2
    it's possible. if you have any grip, tenodesis etc, that will help a lot. going out is easy, if the door is real heavy just run into it with your feet as pushers so both hands can push the chair.
    when pulling a door open, grab handle with one hand, pull back on the wheel quick with the other hand, then yank the door open. if you pull the door quickly the momentum/inertia of you/your chair weight will keep you from rolling forward. once the door is open get your chair front in, and usually you can use the long inside push handle to pull with your opening hand (also propping the door open) while pushing with the other. don't know if these written directions are that easy to follow.
    if you have one stronger hand/arm, when going through double doors go in and out through the side of your strong hand
    like most things quads do, technique is equally if not more important than strength.

    Godspeed...
    (edited spelling)

  3. #3
    if it's a glass door you can get a gun welded to your arm rest and just blow it down! otherwise flamethrowers work well on wood.

    but seriously, if i don't have the strength to get a door i'm usually in public and my feeble attempt is enough for someone (if i'm lucky, a hot girl) to jump in and help without my asking. as far as holding the door open and pushing through at the same time, my rims are rubber so i can stop the one side of my chair while i pull the door open with my other hand. then i push one wheel enough to get my chair in the door and hold it open. maybe you can play around with this concept at home.

  4. #4
    This is one big reason I use my power chair more when I'm out on my own (heavy bathroom doors are the worst, especially if they have tight spaces to deal with).

    w/ a manual... Joey nailed it... going out, just barrel through. You gotta be able to push well... just watch your toes. Opening a door (pulling it open) is another trick, but usually I'll position the chair facing the same angle as the door opens, reach to open the door w/ the arm furthest away, & push to wedge my chair in & hold the door open (assuming most doors are spring-loaded). Then I pretty much just push through, using my elbow to swing the door open a bit. Thresholds suck in this situation, as do uneven surfaces.

    But yeah, work on getting your technique down... or be friendly & someone will likely give ya a hand.

  5. #5
    Originally posted by Joey:

    it's possible. if you have any grip, tenodesis etc, that will help a lot. going out is easy, if the door is real heavy just run into it with your feet as pushers so both hands can push the chair.
    when pulling a door open, grab handle with one hand, pull back on the wheel quick with the other hand, then yank the door open. if you pull the door quickly the momentum/inertia of you/your chair weight will keep you from rolling forward. once the door is open get your chair front in, and usually you can use the long inside push handle to pull with your opening hand (also propping the door open) while pushing with the other. don't know if these written directions are that easy to follow.
    if you have one stronger hand/arm, when going through double doors go in and out through the side of your strong hand
    like most things quads do, technique is equally if not more important than strength.

    Godspeed...
    (edited spelling)
    c4-5 inc i do it like joey does, use momentum to get do open and go through. just push to open, the get your elbow in between u and door to push the rest of way through, not hard after u do it a few times

  6. #6
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    I'm a C-5 quad with some tenodesis to help for grip. I've always used a manual chair and getting through a door can be a bit of a hassle. I'll try to explain as best I can how I manage to get through a swinging door.

    I pull up to the door at a 45 degree angle so that my feet are up against the wall and push my brake ahead enough to hold the chair on the wheel farthest from the door. Then reach forward and grab the door handle and swing it open far enough so that I can push it open with the inside of the door. That allows me to hold the door open with one arm. I then release my brake, back up enough to allow room to pivot my chair to get my front end through. After that, I just push with both arms and allow the weight of the door behind me to help ease my way through.

    It takes some practice and isn't always possible if you're in one of them hallways with the walls right on each side of the door. Then it just becomes time to improvise or hope somebody else is coming through the door in the near future!

    I don't know if that was the best explaination, but get out and try it a few different ways. Eventually you develop your own little technique that will help you get through.

    Good luck and don't give up!!!

  7. #7
    i never open doors, someone is always around to open it for me. i know it sounds lazy, but when ive tried, all i do is embarass myself.

    Even if your body cannot move, you can still think and meditate ~Dalai Lama~

  8. #8
    for a bit of irony:
    at my school most of the doors have a push button nearby (with infamous blue wheeler) to open them automatically. well, before my injury i would use them anyway out of laziness, and now sometimes i'm too prideful to use it because i want people to see that i can do it by myself-stupid.

    p.s. buckwheat, the hot girl will be impressed if you open the door for her (easier said than done )

    Godspeed...

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    If it has a round doorknob, or is on too much if a slope, I cannot do it.

    However, by pulling up to the door perpendicular with my footplates as close the door opening as possible.

    Then leaning forward left arm on the wall straight ahead, right arm on the door handle and then I just stay there stuck. Not really.

    Then with the left hand I push my body back and with the right hand hold on to the door handle or what ever is there.

    Then I twist my footplates inside the door, push the door wide open with my right arm, and quickly go through the opening.

  10. #10
    Just rember, when just using your feet to push through a door, make sure it is not locked or latched! Once, a door I just push through normaly was locked and bent my footrest, plus it was embarasing. Also, only do this if your toes/feet/knees are protected, don't want to break anything. Not as much of a problem if in a manual chair though.

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