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"What kind of exercises should I do to use my wheelchair better?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat kind of exercises should I do to use my wheelchair better?

Question

I am a 22 year old woman with very little upper body strength. I'm having a hard time wheeling myself around campus. Who should I talk to for help in getting better.

Answer

To begin with, here are some questions to consider that will help answer these questions better. What type of wheelchair do you have (motorized, semiautomatic or manual) and what is the reason that you need to use one? Do you have cerebral palsy or have you had spinal cord injury? Do you have any strength in your lower extremities? The answers to these questions, along with your medical history and physical examination will help your primary care doctor decide upon the appropriate work up and treatment options. There are many options available for improving upper body extremity including muscles building exercises and strength training. He or she may recommend that you be evaluated by a strength trainer for further improvement of your upper body strength. He or she may also recommend that you obtain a motorized wheelchair to make it easier to ambulate around campus and when performing your daily activities. The first step for you should be to be evaluated by your primary care doctor as he or she will be the best person to decide upon what is the most appropriate medical treatment options available for you based on your medical history and current symptoms.

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