Tetraplegia (also known as Quadriplegia) is paralysis or partial paralysis of all four limbs (arms and legs) caused by damage or injury to the neck area of the spine. It usually results in the hands not functioning normally and often the fingers are not able to be used normally. Because of this, the use of a manual wheelchair may be challenging. It is often difficult to push the wheelchair easily because it is difficult to grasp the pushrims of the wheelchair.
For this reason, wheelchair gloves are usually essential for tetraplegics. Wheelchair gloves can have two important functions for tetraplegics. Wheelchair gloves can:
* Improve the traction of the hand on the pushrim, which helps make it easier to push and control the wheelchair.
* Protect the hand from injury from repeated contact with the pushrim
But in order to be useful, a wheelchair glove must be:
* Easy to put on. A tetraplegic has difficulty using their hands, so putting on any kind of clothing, particularly gloves, can be very challenging. As a result, tetraplegic gloves should open wide and close very easily.
* Made with a special grip material to improve traction.
* Made with material which offers protection to the hands.
Since there is not just "one kind" of tetraplegic, there can not be just "one kind" of wheelchair gloves. There is a spectrum of hand usage. Some tetraplegics have good use of their hands and some tetraplegics have very minimal use of their hands. Also, some want to use their gloves for everyday purposes around such as pushing their wheelchair around the house or shopping mall. Others want to be active and involved in sports or other activities. So different gloves must be designed for these purposes.
Many tetraplegics use gloves not designed for the proper function, such as bicycle gloves. Cycling gloves are often less expensive, but may not offer the best grip or protection. Here are two videos of reviews by a tetraplegic about wheelchair gloves.
You can also read a review about tetraplegic wheelchair gloves.
What is your experience with wheelchair gloves? Please let us know about it in the comment section below. And please help by clicking the "Vote It Up" button at the top right side of this page.
Image credit: RehaDesign