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back pain

ReginaS

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I have searched the forum a bit and read a couple of threads.

pALS sits in (permobil) wheelchair all day. Sits in recliner at night - not reclined back but feet up.
He does not sit straight as right side is weaker. Often holds up head by putting left elbow on armrest.
He needs to sit and have his chin tucked in bc of swallowing/saliva issues. i.e really reclining does not work.
There is no fat or hardly any muscle left on his back or any other part of his body.

Now back pain has started. Does anyone have an idea how to help? are there special gel cushions you can recommend? I have put and moved little towels under his back from time to time to shift the pressure around. We do ROM exercises.
Even liquid children's advil in milk or yoghurt burns the throat so he chooses not to take it. Pills are impossible - even crushed ones bc of the little pieces.

Thanks for input.
 

lgelb

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Meds first: we had better luck with dissolving crushed pills in warm water and putting them in applesauce, and later just the water in a spoon. Dairy will curdle many pills (and liquids). You might try the liquid Advil in apple juice or grape juice, too -- the less acidic juices.

He can have a heated (low voltage) throw in either chair, and I don't know if your ROM routine includes massage of his back?

They also make these firm grain-stuffed heating pads that are long and thin, that you can microwave and have him rest against as supports, at intervals.

Does he have a Roho cushion in his wheelchair?

For a back cushion, a latex pillow along the length of the spine spine or small of the back may help. Instead of towels, I would try those small travel pillows they sell at BBN. Also it's good to make sure that his elbows and forearms are well-supported since those affect the spine. Possibly moving the arm rests up or down, or angling them differently, could help.
 

blitzc

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Regina,
I have used the grain heating pads mentioned. My daughter actually made the set I have now. Using a sewing machine we filled a long cloth rectangle with dry rice(not minute rice) then stitched it closed. We made several different sizes due to the weight getting very heavy for me. They are microwaved for 2-4 minutes depending on size.
These have been a daily remedy for at least 18 months for me particularly on my shoulder blades which become extremely sore by the end of the day. A smaller one is used to help my hands operate and not be so stiff andd curled. The largest one sits behind me around the lower back in my recliner. Relief without meds!!!!!
I hope this helps,
Cathy
 

KateEmerson

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Regina,

My husband never had back pain but did have butt pain. We tried everything the OT and PT recommended, gel, egg crate, donuts, and more , none of which worked. Then we tried a ROHO and problem solved. Had one for the WC, one for the recliner, and one on the bed. I've heard that others have used one for the back with success. They are not cheap, maybe your ALS Assoc has one in their loan closet you can borrow? Kate
 

KimT

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I find that heat helps my back. I like the idea of a ROHO back support, too. I have a variety of cushions, some expensive, some cheap to support my back when I'm sitting. My lift chair seems to be the most comfortable. I use a heating pad on low even though the chair has heat....not warm enough to do the trick. Same for bed.

Have you tried sublingual medical cannabis for pain? At one point my back hurt so much I took 1/4 of an Oxy and put it under my tongue. That helped within 20 minutes.
 

ReginaS

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Thanks for all your input. Really. I will try a few things out. Today, as I did not get out of the house for shopping I cut up some memory foam as this is what I had. Will try heat cushion and rice bags next. Medical cannabis would require a trip to a different state or connections which I do not have.
I will also check for some cushion from the ALS closet... maybe there is one.

He sits on some very expensive cushion in his chair - the back is different though. --- I need some back support soon too :)

Cathy:
cloth rectangle with dry rice
could you send dimension and weight for these or for the most helpful size? I'd be happy to sow some. Would love to get measurements.
Thanks a bunch for the replies.
 

lgelb

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The grain-filled microwaveable rectangular heating pads (they also come in other shapes, I think) I bought on line, not being crafty, are called Comfort Bags.
 
Last edited:

lgelb

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ROHO no longer makes the stick-on back cushions for the wheelchair, which were good. They do make complete wheelchair back shells, though, but that would take time.

A further thought related to gel -- the Action Products gel products, which you can order on line, are nice for like a regular chair/recliner, and also in commode chairs, for someone who wants more stability and less height than air cells provide. They are not made for wheelchairs.
 

KimT

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I'd like to find a ROHO back cushion that I could take to the different places I play cards. I suppose I could buy a large seat cover and use it for a back cushion?
 

blitzc

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Regina, I will get the dimensions and try to upload a picture or two this weekend. It's time for me to head to bed soon-tired .
Cathy
 
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