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Thread: Quadriplegic wanting to drive... bad balance need info on back and laterals

  1. #1

    Quadriplegic wanting to drive... bad balance need info on back and laterals

    Sorry if I posted this in the wrong section, but I wasn't really sure where I should post it.

    I'm a quadriplegic at the C5, C6 level and I started taking driving lessons in the beginning of June. I have an invacare TDX 3, and I was always taking the lessons he told me to make a right turn. When I made the turn I lost control of my left side because it's stronger... and well to make a long story short I went on somebody else's lawn (don't worry we got away). After that lessons he said to me, I think you will be able to drive, but I'm not going to do any more lessons with you unless you get some lateral supports for your side.

    Which leads me to where I am right now...

    I've seen and tried a few different backs. Right now I have a invacare personal back, but the problem I have is that lateral supports won't work for this back. So, I've tried several different backs, with different types of laterals, but none have been able to hold me in securely.

    The trouble I have is when my arm comes off the arm rest to make a turn, my body then falls to the side. I need to get a back with laterals that holds me in tight and securely. So, when I pick up my arms I do not fall to the sides.

    So... my question is for the quadriplegics or anybody who knows a quadriplegic, how do you deal with this issue?

    The width of my chair is 18 inches, but I think I might be at the point where I would have to buy a custom back that is slimmer than 18 inches and can be inserted, that way when the laterals go on the back they will not be coming in from 18 inches out. Also just to give you some more information my chest is only measuring 14 inches across the top (I know I'm puny).

    Is getting a custom back my only option?

  2. #2
    Have you tried maybe just something like a chest strap you could put around yourself while driving?

  3. #3
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
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    I'm C-5, and between my upper back pain and lousy sitting balance (even with a chest strap), I don't see myself driving unless those problems are eliminated somehow.
    Alan

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  4. #4
    I might be taking my driver's training this fall....I'm currently getting my chair equipped with the laterals and getting a chest strap too....I think it will all work out


  5. #5
    i had the same problem. i use a velcro chest strap and removeable side supports that my seating clinic made. these things were what i needed to become a safe driver. w/o them id be lost!
    May the fetus you save be gay

  6. #6
    Lateral support in your back rest is fine, but what you really need is the velcro chest strap. It bolts to the push handle area of the chair. When you are in the car you pull it on and around tight. When not driving - Let it hang down your sides and it disappears (pretty much)

  7. #7
    Senior Member MZack's Avatar
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    I had a chest strap made from a seat belt. Each end of the belt is doubled over and sewn to create loops that will slip over the push handles of my chair. I just slip them on and click the buckle together. A small thumb-loop is sewn on the right strap (the "male" side of the buckle) to allow me to pull the belt tighter after it's buckled. When not driving, I take belts off and leave em in the car.

    With a tight strap, laterals may not be necessary. The trick is getting as close to the steering wheel as possible so you can easily spin the wheel. I drive from a TDX5 w/a Super-low seating system and get just close enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyCrip
    Lateral support in your back rest is fine, but what you really need is the velcro chest strap. It bolts to the push handle area of the chair. When you are in the car you pull it on and around tight. When not driving - Let it hang down your sides and it disappears (pretty much)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    I have an armrest attached to the door just aft of the gas/brake on my left side that gives me stability and something to push on for leverage. I use the regular seat belt and no chest strap. I'm C5/6 as well.

  9. #9

    I've tried the chest strap

    Thank you for the information, I guess I forgot to put in here that one I was taking the lessons I had a chest strap on.

    It was a black Velcro chest strap that one across my upper chest, but the problem was there was about a 2 inch gap on both sides of my chair, which was still causing my body to swing from the left to right.

    Has anybody heard of this company... it's called "Adaptive Equipment Systems" here is the web site of the different types of backs they offer.

    http://www.aesys.com/quote/pdf/mkt3000_09.pdf

    I was thinking about getting the SBP45XX because the upper back is slanted. I noticed that I like a straight back better than one that has contours, but the taller the back is the upper part pushes me to forward, and I lose my balance. Do you think that with the upper part being pushed back some that my balance would be better? Also, my chair is 18 inches wide, and my chest is only about 14 inches wide. I could get them back to be a 15 inch insert, with laterals that would be right up against me.

    Does anybody have a back from this company... also do you think this is a good idea?

    The only thing about this company is that these backs are custom-built. So, there are no evaluations I would pretty much be going out with this as my last hope.

    Also if you do know about this company are their backs good for people who have a winging shoulder blade like me?

    Thanks again

  10. #10
    sounds like all u need are side supports to fix your problem, hun.
    May the fetus you save be gay

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