What to Expect with a Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy - 1 in 345 Children in US Diagnosed with CPLearning that your child has cerebral palsy (CP) can be very distressing. If this happens to your child, know that you are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, an average of 1 in 345 children in the United States are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. While your child cannot “outgrow” the symptoms of CP, children with cerebral palsy can still lead full lives. The first step to reaching this potential is understanding what a cerebral palsy diagnosis means for your child’s health and future.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

CP is not a disease. It is a group of disorders that affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. According to the CDC, cerebral palsy may be caused by abnormal brain development or some form of brain damage to the developing brain. CP is more common among boys than girls. It is also more common in Black children than in White children. Developmental issues related to cerebral palsy often first begin to appear between 18 months and two years old. An estimated 800,000 children and adults have at least one cerebral palsy symptom.

What are the early signs and symptoms of CP?

A doctor and a child’s parents are called a child’s care team. Their observations and communication will help them to identify potential signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy early. The early signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy can vary. Children reach most of their motor development milestones early in life. Most symptoms of CP may appear during infancy or preschool age. In severe cases, a child may present signs of cerebral palsy at birth. Parents are usually the first to notice issues. Their child may demonstrate slow motor development, tight or floppy muscle tone, or other signs that cause them to worry about their child’s health.

A doctor may first suspect a problem if a child fails to reach key developmental milestones. Some of the markers doctors watch for at a well-baby check-up include steady increases in muscle tone, motor skills, or speech patterns. They may also watch for issues related to posture, coordination, and hearing or vision.

Signs and symptoms of CP

Cerebral Palsy SymptomsMovement and coordination problems associated with cerebral palsy include:

  • Variations in muscle tone, such as being either too stiff or too floppy
  • Stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity)
  • Stiff muscles with normal reflexes (rigidity)
  • Lack of balance and muscle coordination (ataxia)
  • Tremors or involuntary movements
  • Slow, writhing movements
  • Delays in reaching motor skills milestones, such as pushing up on arms, sitting up, or crawling
  • Favoring one side of the body, such as reaching with one hand or dragging a leg while crawling
  • Difficulty walking, such as walking on toes, a crouched gait, a scissors-like gait with knees crossing, a wide gait, or an asymmetrical gait
  • Excessive drooling or problems with swallowing
  • Difficulty with sucking or eating
  • Delays in speech development or difficulty speaking
  • Learning difficulties
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills, such as buttoning clothes or picking up utensils
  • Seizures

What other conditions are associated with CP?

Cerebral Palsy - What Other Conditions Are There?In addition to the main symptoms, people with CP may have related conditions, including intellectual and developmental disability (IDD), seizures, delayed growth, abnormally shaped spine, vision problems, hearing loss, infections, and long-term illnesses, malnutrition, dental problems.

Intellectual and Developmental disability (IDD)

Up to one-half of people with cerebral palsy have intellectual and developmental disabilities. An IDD diagnosis requires ongoing attention from parents and doctors. Additional tests may need to be performed to diagnose IDD. Early intervention can help a person with cerebral palsy and IDD to live with the symptoms related to CP with IDD.

Seizures

About half of all children with cerebral palsy have one or more seizures during their lifetime. Seizures can range from small to severe. A child prone to seizures is at high risk for further brain damage and other injuries. Brain-imaging tests such as an EEG can determine if a child has had a seizure.

Delayed Growth

Children with moderate to severe cerebral palsy are often very small for their age. This delayed growth may be one of the first symptoms parents notice before a cerebral palsy diagnosis. If your child is diagnosed with CP, parents will need to be patient with themselves and their child since their child’s development may fall behind other children in their age group.

Abnormally-Shaped Spine

The spine may curve in a way that makes sitting, standing, or walking more difficult for a child with cerebral palsy. In addition to the pain commonly associated with CP, an abnormally shaped spine can increase a child’s pain level. It is crucial to have good communication and pain management measures in place. Following medical advice is key to improving your child’s quality of life.

Vision Problems

Vision problems may include problems focusing on objects, blurred vision, field vision loss, rapid eye movement, or trouble recognizing familiar faces. Poor eyesight may cause learning delays or frustration for your child. If you notice problems with your child’s vision, talk to your doctor. They may be able to help improve your child’s vision.

Hearing Loss

This form of hearing loss is incurable. It is often related to the nerve in the inner-ear. A child with hearing loss may struggle in social or academic settings. Working closely with their doctors and teachers will help a child avoid falling behind in school. What may appear to be IDD could actually be hearing or vision issues. That is why partnering with a child’s doctor and performing the necessary tests is so important.

Infections and Long-Term Illnesses

Many people with cerebral palsy have a higher risk of heart and lung disease and pneumonia (infection of the lungs). A parent who has a child with CP will need to be vigilant to the signs of heart and lung disease. They will also need to be wary of exposing their child to anyone who may be sick. A small germ for most people could be detrimental to a person with CP.

Malnutrition

Because people with CP can have trouble swallowing, sucking, or feeding, it can be hard to get the proper nutrition or eat enough to gain or maintain weight. To avoid this issue, it is vital that the care team (parents and doctors) work closely together to meet a child’s nutritional needs.

Dental Problems

Some people with cerebral palsy may have movement problems that prevent them from taking care of their teeth. Poor dental care can lead to other health issues, including damage to the heart. Regular dental cleaning and tooth maintenance can help protect a child with CP.

Is diagnosing CP easy to do?

Unfortunately, no. Diagnosing cerebral palsy is a complicated process because it cannot be done with a single test. An accurate diagnosis of cerebral palsy requires both the parents’ observations and a doctor’s evaluation and tests. This method of diagnosis is often a long process. In some cases, it can take years to determine that a person has cerebral palsy. Since a single method does not exist, parents and doctors must closely watch a child’s development before making a diagnosis.

Doctors are not quick to diagnose cerebral palsy. A child’s doctor will perform a series of tests and look at a child’s medical history to rule out other conditions, such as neurological disorders. Once a doctor suspects cerebral palsy, they may order one or more brain imaging tests to look for brain damage. The tests that may be used are:

  • Ultrasound – This method is used most commonly in high-risk preterm infants to take pictures of the brain. Ultrasound is not as good as other methods of taking images of the brain, but it is the safest way to look at preterm infants’ brains.
  • Computed tomography (CT scan) – CT scans use x-rays to take pictures of the brain and show damaged areas.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – MRI uses a computer, a magnetic field, and radio waves to create an image of the brain. It can show the location and type of damage in better detail than a CT scan.
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) – If a person with CP has had seizures, a health care provider may order this test to rule out another disorder such as epilepsy. Small disks called electrodes are placed on the scalp to measure the brain’s activity.

Once your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, what will life be like for them?

Cerebral Palsy - How Parents Can Help Their Child Live with CPWhen a person is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a great many things will change. First, be assured that you, as a parent did nothing wrong. In most cases, cerebral palsy cannot be prevented. It is caused by preterm births and other situations that are out of a parent’s control.

Cerebral palsy cannot be cured. Throughout their life, a person with cerebral palsy will deal with many of the symptoms and complications caused by CP. In addition to the physical limitation, a person with CP may experience depression, anxiety, or delayed social development.

Parents and children must have the right support around them as they face the daily requirements of living with such a complex disability. Support groups for families and ongoing medical advice are just two things parents will need as they adapt to their child’s new life.

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month - MarchLiving with CP will never be easy, but you are not alone. There are many resources available to support you. Talk to your doctor about what tools and programs may be the best fit for your family. Here are some other timely articles you may find helpful:

Tips for a Tidy Home – Living with MS

Living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be very challenging. The symptoms of MS can make it a struggle to perform basic household chores and completing those everyday tasks can seem hopeless! However, cleaning and decluttering the most lived-in areas of the home can offer surprising benefits for people living with MS.

You can fight the fatigue, reduce stress, and increase positive emotions – with the help of these simple tips and tricks along your way…

MS home tipsOne Room at a Time:

Don’t try to clean the entire house all at once!

Monumental tasks can seem insurmountable if they’re thought of as one huge job. Instead, break up the job into a series of smaller tasks.

Try to schedule a few minutes per day over several days, and keep track of your progress. Attend to a certain room or section of your house on different days, if possible. For example, dust one room a day rather than the entire house. Declutter one kitchen cupboard or shelf at a time rather than trying to organize the whole space at once.

Dishwasher:

You should obviously use the dishwasher as much as possible for any cups, flatware, and dishes. But something you perhaps hadn’t thought about is that the dishwasher can be used to wash more than just dishes! Things like toys, medical equipment, and tools can be cleaned in the dishwasher, too. Baseball caps that would be ruined by a washing machine are perfectly fine in the dishwasher. Just be careful not to put anything in that might melt in high-temperature hot water.

Ergonomics:

Invest in reachers and grabbers that can help with odd jobs  around   the   house.   Some   are   spring-loaded,   and   others  are mechanical.   Most   have   a   “trigger”   that   you   pull   to   activate the grabbing action. These can help you get to items on the floor or other hard-to-reach areas that would otherwise be challenging to grab. You never want to risk falling just to get your hands on a certain item, and this kind of tool can definitely help minimize that risk.

Cleaning Supplies:

Try to keep your cleaning products in a convenient and accessible location. Having all of your supplies on a cart with wheels can make transporting these items around your home a little easier. When it’s time to purchase cleaning supplies, try to buy heavy-duty cleaning products that don’t require extra scrubbing to remove dirt and grime. Pick up rags and cloths that do a better job with minimal scrubbing, and try to use tools with a handle for grip control. If possible, try using a cordless or lightweight vacuum cleaner to avoid tiring out before you meet your day’s goal.

Cleaning Services:

In some cases, hiring a cleaning professional to do the deep cleaning needed around your home is an even better option. Oftentimes, local cleaning companies offer specials or discounts. You can also shop around for online specials. If you are on a fixed budget, try to schedule cleaning once a month to keep expenses down. Make sure to give the cleaner detailed instructions or a list of tasks that you cannot personally reach or access around your home.

Decluttering and cleaning are often where we expend most of our energy, which is described quite well in the MultipleSclerosis.net article titled Every Little Thing.

The mental and physical health benefits we receive from living in a tidy home are worth some extra effort. Small modifications here and there can certainly add up to significant overall improvements in your daily life!

 

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Giving Mobility Back to People with Multiple Sclerosis

Giving mobility back to people with multiple sclerosisYour typical standing power chair is an automated device that helps its user move from a seated to standing position and back again. Some standing power chairs also enable users to fully recline.

The Redman Power Chair goes much further. It doesn’t just facilitate standing and reclining, it offers a patented body-positioning system that enables users to enjoy a greater range of motion than other chairs.

Stand Up for Your Health

When power chair-using MS patients add standing to their daily routine, better health often follows. They enjoy better circulation, improved bowel and bladder function, higher bone density, greater muscle and joint flexibility, and enhanced morale.

Many say the improved quality of life is the greatest benefit. From their standing chairs, they can look friends and family in the eye and be taken more seriously.

Sports lovers? They aren’t avoiding the stadium anymore. When their team scores, they can stand up and cheer like everyone else.

Then there’s the man who wasn’t satisfied with merely attending his daughter’s wedding. Using his power chair, he walked his daughter down the aisle and got the reception off to a rollicking start with the traditional father-daughter dance. All great benefits of giving mobility back to people with Multiple Sclerosis with a Redman power chair.

Going Here, There, and Everywhere

Standing power chair users love the fact that they can stand. But they sure aren’t standing still. That’s because they don’t think of power chair life as confinement. Instead, they call it liberation.

And they’re taking that mindset out into the world. Standing chair users are enjoying everything from a regular day at the office to participating in conventions.
We’ve heard from many people who’ve gone hiking – and some who’ve enjoyed scuba diving trips.

Since Redman Power Chair users like to get out and about, the Chief 107-ZRx is designed to help them do just that. The seat base height is a standard 18 inches, making it easy to get under restaurant tables and school or office desks.

Redman chairs fit into a much smaller footprint than competing models. The Redman footprint is only 23 inches wide and 39 inches long, so you can easily maneuver those tight squeezes.

Every Redman Power Chair is custom-fitted to you and can be adapted to a wide variety of terrain. So, if your day includes a walk in the woods or work in your garden, Redman can take you there, standing up.

Motorized Wheelchair Details

The Original, One-Chair Pioneer

In 1984, Redman revolutionized the power chair industry by introducing the first standing chair. That has been the company’s focus ever since. Rather than offering a confusing array of makes and models, Redman builds just one uniquely advanced Standing Power Chair, the Chief 107-ZRx. Our design and functionality improvements have come directly from you – our valued customers – over 35 years.

The Chief 107-ZRx is the only power chair with a patented body positioning system. It’s a chair that’s designed to move with the user. The chair’s versatility extends to operational controls as well. It can be controlled by eye gaze, movements of the tongue or head, by hand, or by foot.

Unlike competitors’ chairs, the Redman system mechanically – and automatically – compensates for body position. With a Redman Power Chair, users can enjoy unassisted standing, reclining, tilting, and stretching. And every movement and position offers positive clinical health benefits!

Giving Mobility Back To People with Multiple Sclerosis with a Redman!

  • We build the smallest, lightest power chairs in the industry
  • Our chairs move intrinsically to mimic your body
  • Each chair is built specifically to fit the individual – no mass production
  • The only mid-wheel standing chair that elevates, tilts, stands, and reclines
  • Unique positions – Yoga, Stand & Stretch, Tilt in Space – that no other chair offers
  • 100% custom-manufactured in the USA by a family-owned company

Redman Power Chairs are proudly made in Tucson, Arizona, and sold all across the United States. We provide our expertise and services directly to you, with no middleman – including evaluation and fitting, delivery and setup with a complete fit/function guarantee, plus repair and maintenance through a nationwide network of trained staff. We offer live customer support 24/7/365 and accept all major credit cards and insurance plans. In fact, we’re one of just a few power chair companies with an in-house insurance department.

Schedule a free, no-obligation in-home demonstration today!

We appeared in this edition of InforMS Magazine!

Activities for People with Disabilities

Activities for People with Disabilities

According to the CDC, more than 21 million American adults have a disability that can make day-to-day activities difficult. So, if you’re looking for activities for people with disabilities, you’re certainly not alone! It’s worth noting that staying physically active has a major impact on physical and mental health regardless of your ability level, and can often improve the symptoms like chronic pain, mobility issues, and more than often accompany being a wheelchair user. Below are a few tips for finding the activities that you enjoy most and can become a part of your daily lifestyle.

  1. Find the facilities, programs, places, and spaces where you can be physically active. Many local recreation centers will have wheelchair sports teams and group exercise classes available. Don’t be afraid to try something new either! There are many resources to be found online for active clubs that are wheelchair friendly for everything from LARPing (live-action role play), to repelling, horseback riding, and more.
  2. Get social. Speaking of those sports teams, finding group activities to participate in not only accomplishes the goal of getting moving but also helps to build a community. Having a workout buddy with similar abilities can help to build comradery and keep you accountable in being consistent with your workout or activity goals.
  3. Start slow. Consistency is key! It’s important to start somewhere, even if it just means getting your heart rate up for a few minutes a day, rather than not starting at all or giving up because your new routine isn’t in line with your fitness level. Choose something you enjoy and increase the time or intensity as your stamina and strength improve.
  4. Include aerobic activities. Aerobic activity, also known as cardio, is anything that gets your heart pumping while being low impact. Examples of aerobic activity that can be performed from your wheelchair or with limited mobility include:
    -Aquatic therapy
    -Ballroom dancing
    -Cross-country and downhill skiing
    -Hand-crank bicycling
    -Rowing
    -Seated volleyball
    -Swimming laps
    -Wheeling yourself in your wheelchair
    -Wheelchair basketball, tennis, softball, and much more!

Activities for People with Disabilities Are Important to have

When it comes to staying active and enjoying exercise, Redman Power Chair goes above and beyond to make sure your options are limitless. For example, a Redman chair includes every position from lying down, to sitting, to standing, and even a “yoga position” that allows users to bend backward for a nice stretch and increased mobility. Imagine the activities possible with your own personalized, high-quality motorized wheelchair! Continue exploring our website to learn more about how Redman is dedicated to innovative mobility.

The Best Power Wheelchair for Multiple Sclerosis

For those who have been diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS), decisions about assertive technology can have a massive impact on their quality of life while managing the disease.

MS is an auto-immune disorder affecting the central nervous system.

Displaying a Wheelchair for multiple sclerosis available at redman.MS affects neurons, which are the cells of the brain and spinal cord that transport information and allow the brain to control the body. With MS, the body’s neurons become damaged leading to degenerative symptoms related to muscle control and sensory function.

The disease is chronic and progressive, and currently there is no cure. However, many treatments and interventions help those diagnosed with MS to manage their symptoms and slow the progression of the disorder.

Once MS progresses motor function and balance become impaired. In these cases, a motorized wheelchair is very effective for maintaining mobility, independence, and optimizing health.

When is it Time to Use an Electric Wheelchair for MS?

MS is notoriously difficult to predict when it comes to individual symptoms and prognosis. A wide variety of symptoms and presentations makes MS a unique disorder to deal with. Overall, however, patterns of progression with the disease lead to deficits in particular areas.

For instance, multiple sclerosis symptoms often include the loss of muscle control, vision, balance, and sensation. There are four different types of MS, and, depending on which type, you may be more or less likely to need a wheelchair. To better understand the 4 types of MS and which ones warrant wheelchair use, we discuss each type below.

The 4 Types of Multiple Sclerosis

  • Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS). This is the most common form of multiple sclerosis. Of note, about 85% of people with MS are initially diagnosed with RRMS. People with RRMS have temporary periods called relapses, flare-ups or exacerbation when new symptoms appear. Usually, individuals reach secondary-progressive MS before they may require the use of a wheelchair.
  • Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS). In SPMS, symptoms worsen more steadily over time, with or without the occurrence of relapses and remissions. Most people who are diagnosed with RRMS will transition to SPMS at some point. During the course of SPMS, many people do require the use of a wheelchair due to motor impairment.
  • Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS). This type of MS is not very common as only roughly 10% of people with MS are diagnosed with PPMS. This MS type is characterized by slowly worsening symptoms from the beginning, with no relapses or remissions. Many individuals diagnosed with PPMS require the use of a power wheelchair during the course of the illness.
  • Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS). This is the rarest form of MS affecting an estimated 5% of people with MS. PRMS is characterized by a steadily worsening disease state from the beginning, with acute relapses but no remissions, with or without recovery. It is again common to use a wheelchair once muscle function has declined with this type of MS.

More on Wheelchair Use and MS

MS primarily first affects people in their early to middle adulthood and is more commonly found in women than men. Because of the different types of multiple sclerosis and variable progression of the disease, an individual may require the use of mobility aids.

Whether aids like a cane, walker, leg brace, manual wheelchair, or a mobility scooter are required, people typically use what is needed to overcome the progressive loss associated with the disease.

That includes upgrading to the use of power mobility to complete activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, grooming, reaching, and standing. Plus, power wheelchairs empower people to get around whether to continue professional activities or other kinds of errands.

In addition, some such patients may use a manual wheelchair for part of the day, but due to fatigue, they may benefit from the use of a motorized wheelchair at different times.

Choosing the Best Wheelchair for Multiple Sclerosis

If you or someone you care about have multiple sclerosis, Redman Power Chair offers the best motorized standing wheelchair available to maintain independence and functioning. What is unique about the Redman Power Chair is the ability to automatically stand up with the power chair’s assistance.

The Redman Power Chair is ideal for MS patients who have trouble standing unassisted. Additionally, the latest Redman model, the Chief 107-ZRx is the most advanced power chair on the market. That’s because the 107-ZRx can move and rest at any position between sitting, standing, and reclining.

For example, if you want to horizontally align your legs while doing a 45-degree backrest slant, or stretch your torso upward and move anywhere between sitting and standing, you can. The support and flexibility of the Redman chair is the best way to obtain optimum health benefits to your body and mind when psychomotor impairments get worse.

The Redman Power Chair for MS Patients

As symptoms of multiple sclerosis progress, you or a loved one with MS will likely benefit most from an electric wheelchair with maximum mobility capabilities. The Redman Power Chair uses power tilt, recline, stand, and rotate technology to help you move your body into the position you prefer automatically.

Besides the practical benefits of standing, reaching, and moving with intuitive controls, users benefit from the psychological boost that standing eye-to-eye with others in social situations yields. A wealth of research has lauded the physical and phsycological benefits of standing daily for wheelchair-bound individuals.

The human body is meant to stand, so when standing is not possible due to MS, many negative symptoms start to compound. However, when such individuals use assertive technology, they reap many benefits including better circulation, breathing, bladder and bowel function, muscle flexibility and strength, bone density, and pressure relief, among others.

Take Back Control with the Redman Power Chair

Multiple sclerosis is a distressing disease that takes over the life of many people. When symptoms progress to disabling levels, it can feel like extremely upsetting and even hopeless at times.

But with the best technology available you don’t have to give up your ability stand, get around, and stretch independently. Regain your freedom and independence with the most advanced power wheelchair available.

Give the friendly qualified team a call at Redman Power Chair today. We work with most insurances directly to help you get the assertive mobility technology for the most affordable prices.

The Redman Power Chair is the perfect solution for MS patients when mobility impairments get in the way of fully functioning independently. Give us a call today at 1-800-727-6684, and take back control of your life with the best Wheelchair for Multiple Sclerosis!

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Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs

Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs

Many different kinds of disabilities require the use of wheelchairs for mobility. These are referred to as mobility impairments. Disabilities may be orthopedic (relating to the bone and muscles) or they may be neuromuscular (relating to the nerves and muscles).

For example, some of the more common kinds of mobility impairments are amputation, paralysis, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and spinal cord injury. Many other impairments can lead an individual to use a motorized wheelchair to get around as well.

Medical conditions that require wheelchairs have a wide range of types and presentations, but finding a wheelchair that meets each person’s individual needs is very important. The right wheelchair, whether manual or electronic, sitting or standing, reclining, and tilting, will be the one that offers the best opportunities for comfort, independence, and mobility.

Spinal Cord Injuries

One of the most common Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs is spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord lead to different types of impairment depending on the area of the spine that has been injured.

For example, quadriplegia means the individual has lost function of the body below the neck including the arms, legs, and body. Although some people retain limited use of hands or arms with quadriplegia, this is not always the case. Additionally, paraplegia refers to the loss of function in the lower extremities including the legs and lower body.

For both quadriplegia and paraplegia, motorized wheelchairs are effective for regaining mobility and independence. Additionally, standing electric wheelchairs offer many health and psychological benefits by assisting the user to move into a standing position on command.

Amputations

Amputation refers to the surgical removal of all or part of a limb or extremity such as an arm, leg, foot, hand, toe, or finger. While many different reasons may lead to needing an amputation, some of the most common causes are poor circulation, physical injury, nacreous tumor growth, infection, and frostbite. This is a common Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs.

Amputations involving toes, feet, and legs often result in mobility impairment. Every case is unique and there are many different solutions to help an individual maintain or regain mobility following an amputation. For example, artificial limbs are often effective for helping people stay mobile.

However, for many amputees, a wheelchair is essential assistive technology for maintaining mobility, independence, and functionality. Specialized wheelchairs are designed to promote comfort, movement, and health for individuals with mobility impairment and an amputation or amputations.

Spinal Cord Injuries

One of the most common Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs is spinal cord injuries. Injuries to the spinal cord lead to different types of impairment depending on the area of the spine that has been injured.

For example, quadriplegia means the individual has lost function of the body below the neck including the arms, legs, and body. Although some people retain limited use of hands or arms with quadriplegia, this is not always the case. Additionally, paraplegia refers to the loss of function in the lower extremities including the legs and lower body.

For both quadriplegia and paraplegia, motorized wheelchairs are effective for regaining mobility and independence. Additionally, standing electric wheelchairs offer many health and psychological benefits by assisting the user to move into a standing position on command.

Amputations

Amputation refers to the surgical removal of all or part of a limb or extremity such as an arm, leg, foot, hand, toe, or finger. While many different reasons may lead to needing an amputation, some of the most common causes are poor circulation, physical injury, nacreous tumor growth, infection, and frostbite. This is a common Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs.

Amputations involving toes, feet, and legs often result in mobility impairment. Every case is unique and there are many different solutions to help an individual maintain or regain mobility following an amputation. For example, artificial limbs are often effective for helping people stay mobile.

However, for many amputees, a wheelchair is essential assistive technology for maintaining mobility, independence, and functionality. Specialized wheelchairs are designed to promote comfort, movement, and health for individuals with mobility impairment and an amputation or amputations.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs, a disorders in the United States with about 800,000 people are affected. Symptoms range from mild to severe affecting the brain and motor functioning. This disorder results from brain damage occurring around childbirth.

Some symptoms of cerebral palsy may be limited muscle control, problems with reflexes, difficulty with coordination and control, and oral motor problems. For many people diagnosed with cerebral palsy, assistive motor devices like motorized wheelchairs are necessary.

Additionally, standing electric wheelchairs are especially effective for better circulation and health for those who have difficulty walking and have cerebral palsy.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis or MS is a disease in which the body’s immune system targets its own central nervous system. This means the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves are negatively affected. MS results in many different kinds of symptoms from mild to severe. This is a common Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs.

For some with MS, a wheelchair is needed for mobility. Symptoms such as muscle spasms and stiffness, fatigue, walking difficulties, dizziness, tremors, and seizures may warrant the need for a motorized wheelchair or, in some cases, a power standing chair.

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When walking and standing are not possible or very difficult with more severe multiple sclerosis, an electric wheelchair is a great tool for better independence and health.

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects the brain–with declines in memory, thinking, and behavior. The disease is progressive and there is currently no cure, but there are treatments and interventions to help those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Some may not realize this but this is one of the Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs.

Age is the greatest risk factor. To illustrate, 1 in 14 people over age 65 have Alzheimer’s and 1 in 6 over the age of 80. It is less common, but some people get early-onset Alzheimer’s meaning they are diagnosed before age 65. Most people live 4-8 years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but may live up to 20 years.

Because the disease is progressive, the symptoms become worse from early to moderate to severe stages. Early stages are characterized by thinking and memory problems and in the late stage individuals often need full-time care and access to a wheelchair for mobility.

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Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy encompasses several different diseases that lead to loss of muscle and progressive weakening of the body. In this disorder, gene mutations cause problems with the production of proteins normally used to make healthy muscles. With that being said it’s clear that this is one of the Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs.

The most common types of muscular dystrophy occur in childhood most often with boys. Although, other types do not present until adulthood. While there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, therapy and medication can slow the progress of the disease.

The most common form of muscular dystrophy is Duchenne type. This type, for example, is characterized by difficulties with motor activities such as walking or sitting up, muscular stiffness and pain, and frequent falling.

Other types have mainly to do with which muscle groups are most affected. Oftentimes, electric wheelchairs including tilting, reclining, and standing wheelchairs are effective resources for people with muscular dystrophy depending on their specific needs.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that impacts movement. Symptoms move from subtle and mild to more and more disruptive as motor function declines.

For example, a slight hand tremor may be the first sign, but further tremors, muscle rigidity, difficulties with walking and balance, speech problems, and posture difficulties are some of the symptoms that follow. Muscles on one side of the body are often affected first. Men are more likely to develop Parkinson’s and older people, usually, after age 60, are more likely to get the disorder.

If a wheelchair becomes necessary due to the mobility problems associated with the disease, it is recommended to use a tilting and reclining chair to help with circulation and blood pressure. Standing power chairs are also helpful for slowing the progression of Parkinson’s and maintaining better health outcomes.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) impacts nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and is referred to as a neurodegenerative disease. ALS involves the progressive degeneration of the motor neurons that eventually leads these neurons dying. Which clearly would mean this is one of the Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs.

When motor neurons in the brain die, the individual loses the ability to control muscle movements across the body. Therefore, the ability to voluntarily control muscles declines over the course of the disease to the point of significant or total paralysis in later stages.

There are an estimated 16,000 people with ALS. The disease does not currently have a cure, but several medical treatments prolong survival and quality of life while living with ALS.

Depending on the progression of the disease, an electric wheelchair, especially a reclining, tilting, and standing power chair, is essential for a better quality of life and health for mobility assistance.

Scoliosis

Scoliosis involves a problematic curvature of the spine that develops most often during the accelerated growth period just before puberty. In some cases, scoliosis develops as a result of other medical conditions like muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy, for example.

However, the exact cause for most scoliosis cases is unknown. It is estimated that roughly 3% of adolescents have scoliosis. While most cases of scoliosis are not debilitating, some spine deformities become progressively more severe as children and adolescents grow.

Scoliosis in severe forms can be disabling. For some with a diagnosis of scoliosis, a wheelchair is required for mobility and comfort.

Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from a physical blow, jolt, or bump to the head or body causing injury to the brain. TBI can also result from an object penetrating the brain, such as a bullet or knife.

There is a wide range of symptoms from milder to severe depending on the extent of the trauma to the brain itself. Mild TBI affects the brain in a more temporary manner with cognitive abilities being impacted.

Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headaches, sleep complications, and disorientation. Severe TBI can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term or lifelong symptoms or death.

Many people who suffer a traumatic brain injury experience the loss of the ability to walk or independently position themselves. As a result, some with debilitating symptomology following a TBI require the use of a specialized power wheelchair.

Standing, tilting, and reclining electric chairs offer superior abilities for mobility and positioning for better health and psychological outcomes.

Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a birth defect involving complications with spine and spinal cord forming improperly. Spina Bifida occurs when the neural tube, which forms early in pregnancy, fails to develop or close properly.

This condition leads to defects in the spinal cord. Fortunately, in many cases, early treatment such as surgery resolves the problem completely. However, for some complications following early treatment result in severe symptoms including walking and mobility problems.

This occurs when the nerves used to control the leg muscles are not functioning properly. Because spina bifida occurs in the spinal cord it can impact the nervous system. Therefore, muscle weakness of the legs and sometimes paralysis of the lower body can also occur. Mobility impairment as a result of spina bifida may require the use of a manual or electric wheelchair.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease involving the production and use of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone that helps glucose from food get into your cells to give them energy. However, with type 1 diabetes, the body fails to produce insulin at all.

As a result, continuing medication through the use of insulin medication, glucose monitoring, and other medical interventions are necessary for managing the disease. Type 2 diabetes is the more common type which generally means the body has difficulties using its insulin correctly. Diabetes puts people at risk for further health problems.

For example, roughly half of individuals diagnosed with type 1 diabetes experience nerve damage, also referred to as diabetic neuropathy. In addition, many people also have foot complications related to the neuropathy which may include ulcers, poor circulation, and amputation.

Depending on the presentation, many people with diabetes take advantage of assistive mobility technology such as power wheelchairs for better health and mobility.

Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that the immune system essentially attacks itself in the body. With arthritis, the immune system primarily attacks the joints of the body such as the hands, fingers, wrists, back, knees, and feet. This is also one of the common Disabilities that Require Wheelchairs.

In some severe cases, arthritis impacts other parts of the body including organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease so symptoms become worse over time.

About 1.5 million people in the U.S. have rheumatoid arthritis, but there is a significant range of symptoms from very mild to quite debilitating. For example, some people may only have minor tiredness and ache and pains, and others may be entirely dependent on a wheelchair for health and mobility.

Motorized wheelchairs are often necessary to help with mobility, comfort, and optimum health. Standing and reclining power chairs are excellent options for those who cannot stand independently or have great difficulty doing so.

Other Causes Leading to Wheelchair Use

Many other medical conditions may warrant the use of a wheelchair. For example, cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, epilepsy, stroke, glaucoma, hepatitis C, hypertension, lymphedema, menopause, obesity, osteoporosis, plagiocephaly, post-polio syndrome, sleep apnea, and vascular disease can all require wheelchair use.

Many other medical conditions can also lead to needing a wheelchair. Furthermore, many times people deal with more than one medical condition at the same time. Often, with multiple diagnoses the problem becomes even more complicated.

Whatever the medical condition leading to mobility impairment, electric wheelchairs are extremely valuable tools to help those with a disability. Additionally, when an individual is unable to stand on their own, a motorized standing wheelchair provides a myriad of opportunities for social, psychological, health, and professional benefit.

The Bottom Line on Wheelchair Use

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 10% of the world’s population suffers from a disability. Furthermore, of those, another 10% would benefit from access to a wheelchair. WHO also states that access to assistive mobility technology is a human right.

This is essential because access to wheelchairs, whether manual or automatic depending on the need allows people with disabilities to function in society. Wheelchairs allow users to work, care for themselves and others, and accomplish daily living tasks independently.

For those who have mobility impairments using the right chair for them makes a world of a difference. Manual, automatic, reclining, tilting, and standing wheelchairs have a huge impact on quality of life, independence, physical and psychological health for people with disabilities.

If you or a loved one are affected by the above conditions above, please contact us today to see how a Redman Standing Wheelchair can help you.

What Is a Standing Wheelchair for Quadriplegics?

A standing wheelchair for Quadriplegics is a motorized chair that is powered by one or two batteries, with the intended purpose of traveling through all ranges of motion from sitting to standing and back to prone, allowing a better posture and the correction of symptoms like high blood pressure, caused by an individuals disability.

Can a paraplegic or quadriplegic stand?

Redman Power Chair Adjustable Motorized Wheelchair

Is this a simple yes or no answer?

A standing feature is an available option on most high level powered wheelchair and both mainstream as well as custom devices are available.

Both the user and wheelchair companies thrive from constant improvements involving technology and mechanics to add to the quality of life, ultimately.

But for the user, this not only begs the question on the dependability of the product but what the body may or may not be capable of.

Medical Contraindications 

When Michael W. first received his Redman Power Chair, it “allowed me to stand up for the first time in 28 years,” he told interviewers. In his years of using a standing powered wheelchair he has traveled to twenty one countries. Michael endures a C5 spinal cord injury and spent twenty four years without standing. Consulting your primary care physician, as well as a physical therapist and  occupational therapist is crucial to receiving accurate medical information about your condition. There are many concerns involved and some include orthostatic blood pressure regulation, spinal surgery and fusions, amputations, knee replacements and many other conditions. These conditions do not necessarily mean standing is not an option for you. Most clinicians (physical therapy as a field in particular) are willing to work with your condition to correct any body positioning that is not fixed. There are benefits to body positioning yourself with the help of instruction from your doctors. Depending on your condition the greatest benefit may be any of the following: increased perfusion throughout your lower extremities especially reaping increased bone density, improved digestion through expanding the torso and allowing better blood flow into vital organs, improved mental health and many more. There are many companies that provide customizable options. Redman power chair is a fully customizable product offering accessories to allow amputees, muscular dystrophy patients (as well as other diagnosis) in need of custom padding to choose from the options that may increase the probability of body positioning for the user. In any case, collecting data for yourself will only benefit you and as Michael adds, “being able to stand up has changed my life in a lot of ways I am no longer at the bottom of the crowd, I am actually- when I stand up, the biggest guy in the room, again.”

Benefits of A Standing Wheelchair

As mentioned previously, most clinicians are more than willing to work with you throughout the process (although this does not apply to some practices). For a custom built standing motorized wheelchair especially there may be an out of pocket cost to you as the user. In this case a relationship with you doctor will be critical in providing documentation for the prescription of your chair and of your needs. The benefits you may reap including  increased perfusion throughout your lower extremities, increased bone density, improved digestion and better blood flow into the vital organs, enhanced respiration, improved mental health, access to spaces in your environment, the opened possibility to returning to a vocation, and the possibility of fewer medications needed.

There are many reasons you may be searching for a product made specifically for you diagnosis and it comes down to minimizing the symptoms you experience. So how do you make the best choice and what to look for?

Specifications of a Standing Wheelchair

Taking the time to measure and apply specifications for a product of interest in your home (specifically bathroom and living quarters) is one of the most overlooked tasks when researching for the correct wheelchair. Measurements to take into account are turn radius, width, length, seat to floor measurement, seat depth, armrest height, backrest height, battery life, maximum speed, weight of the product and the warranty available.

Most common complications include:

-Blood clots

-Pressure sores

-Autonomic Dysreflexia

-Respiratory issues

-Spastic muscles

-Pain

-Secondary injuries

-Loss of bladder or bowel control

If any of these are issues for you the best choice is to choose a standing power chair with recognized codes for positioning and features such as tilt in space, recline, articulating legs, lower back and hip flexor stretch, heel cord stretch in full recline position, custom dimensions, and proper specifications to access your home and environment.

The Redman Team Supports Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month Ribbon Did you know that Congress recently declared September 2012 as Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month?  SCI Awareness Month was just passed as a resolution by the Senate this year in July.  We are glad that the general public is being made aware of such an important issue.  How important?  Every 48 seconds a new individual is affected by a spinal cord injury, and did you know that approximately 200,000 people in the US alone have this type of injury?  The Redman Power Chair team, manufacturer of the world’s highest quality Standing Mobility device wants to raise awareness and offer some valuable resources for SCI patients and their families.

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