Quadriplegia refers to an injury or illness that affects the spine, and a quadriplegic individual is a person who is suffering from quadriplegia. Most people suffer from quadriplegia after getting involved in a life threatening accidents and become physically paralyzed when their spinal cord becomes fractured, broken or damaged. People also suffer from quadriplegia when their C5 vertebra becomes fractured. A fracturing of the C5 vertebra makes a person immobile from the chest downwards. A person who has his C5 vertebra fractured has limited mobility in his legs and arms. A person with a cervical spinal injury of the C6 cannot lose all his strength in both the shoulder and the elbow. Studies have revealed that a person who is suffering from quadriplegia can still extend his elbow. A person suffering from quadriplegia can still extend his elbow and shoulder because there is an active dorsal flexion at the wrist that controls the movement of the elbow. A person suffering from quadriplegia is also able to coordinate his or her joints. Coordination of joints is very important because it enables one to grasp objects (Laffont et al. 57). Studies have revealed that many old people suffer from quadriplegia because of physical injuries that they acquired as young people. Quadriplegia is a serious problem in the United States given that every year hundreds of Americans become physically paralyzed and end up living as quadriplegics.
However, it is worthy to mention that people with quadriplegics are not completely physically disabled. Individuals suffering from quadriplegics can still do the same functions that normal people do. People suffering from quadriplegia are not completely dependent on other human beings in going about with their lives. There have been many occasions where people who were once suffering from quadriplegics have recovered and are now living normal lives (Miller 97).
Individuals with quadriplegics often have a difficult time accepting their condition. As a result, there are individuals with quadriplegics who resort to suicide ideation due to the challenges associated with living as a paralyzed individual. The very thought that a person who once had no physical disabilities is now physically disable often make quadriplegics depressed. Many people who suffer from quadriplegics are miserable and temperamental. Most of them think that because they are suffering from quadriplegia, that is the end of the world for them. Individuals with quadriplegia often have to forget the life that they used to live where they had no physical disabilities and accept their new status as physically disabled individuals. It is often difficult for the individuals to fit in the society with their new condition. It is difficult for a person who used to be independent and self-reliant to all over a sudden become dependent on other people so that he or she may continue living his or her life. Pride and shame are factors that make it difficult for a person who was self-sufficient and independent to accept his new condition as a quadriplegic. There are people who naturally, are proud and the very thought of depending on other people so as to continue living their lives is detestable. A person who used to support other people either financially or through other means may find shameful to accept help from other people because of his or her sense of superiority.
Individuals with quadriplegia suffer from stigmatization and isolation. There are individuals who believe that people with quadriplegia brought the condition on themselves probably from engaging in deviant social behaviors such as crime or drug abuse. Wheelchairs and other physical tools are used by people with quadriplegia to go about with their daily activities in almost the same manner in which people who have no physically disability go about their lives (Kroll 94).
Rehabilitation programs play a major role in helping individuals who have recently become physically challenged to accept their new condition (Trieschmann 200).The programs play a major role in the recovery of individuals with quadriplegics. Individuals with quadriplegia have to be motivated that they can still achieve their dreams even in their physical condition so that they may continue living their lives free of bitterness and suicidal ideation. Quadriplegics need to be urged to develop a positive attitude towards life despite being physically handicapped. A positive attitude by people suffering from quadriplegia is more likely to help them enjoy their lives despite their condition. Being bitter about quadriplegia by a quadriplegic individual is akin to a person surrendering his power to someone else. Individuals suffering from quadriplegia should know that the power to live fulfilling and enjoyable lives is in their hands. Rehabilitation programs should often use examples of men such as Franklin Roosevelt who despite being physically handicapped became the President of the United States to encourage individuals with quadriplegics to soldier on despite their physical disability. Motivation and a positive attitude do push people suffering from quadriplegia to the end making them embrace life fully despite their condition. It is a waste of time for a person suffering from quadriplegia to be exasperated about his or her condition.
Professional training can help people with quadriplegia to do some of the things that people who are not disabled do. Training can help individuals to move their legs freely. A technique was developed by Richard Herman, and it has proved that people with spinal cord injury can live normal lives. In the technique, a person with quadriplegia is held on a moving treadmill and urged to make small steps. With time the individual with spinal cord injury becomes able to make the very steps that people with no disabilities make. The technique can be used on people with spinal cord injury so that they may live normal lives (Ruark 79). It is therefore not far-fetched to state that a combination of science and human power can play a major role in coming up with a discovery that will help people suffering from quadriplegics to recover from their condition. Recovery from quadriplegia will give people who are suffering from the condition to be more optimistic about their lives.
There are methods and practices that people who are suffering from quadriplegics can incorporate in their lives to live fulfilling and happy lives. Neck therapy and tai chi practice are some of the resources that a person who is suffering from quadriplegics can use to completely recover (Watchie 326).
Vital capacity has been used to ascertain the ability of a person with quadriplegics to live a normal life. Vital capacity refers to the measurement of a persons pulmonary function. Vital capacity can be used to determine the ability of a person to normally maintain adequate gaseous exchange without having breathing difficulties (Tow 5). Vital capacity is paramount in helping people suffering from quadriplegics to recover from their condition (Tow 91).
Kroll, Thilo. Focus on Disability: Trends in Research and Application. New York: Nova Biomedical Books, 2008. Print.
Laffont, I, E Briand, O Dizien, M Combeaud, B Bussel, M Revol, and A Roby-Brami. "Kinematics of Prehension and Pointing Movements in C6 Quadriplegic Patients." Spinal Cord. 38.6 (2000): 354-62. Print.
Marini, John J, and Arthur P. Wheeler. Critical Care Medicine: The Essentials. , 2012. Print.
Miller, Patricia D. Fitness Programming and Physical Disability. Champaign, Ill: Human Kinetics, 1995. Print.
Ruark, Jennifer K. "The History That May Never Be Read." Chronicle of Higher Education. 48.33 (2002). Print.
Tow, AM, DE Graves, and RE Carter. "Vital Capacity in Tetraplegics Twenty Years and Beyond." Spinal Cord. 39.3 (2001): 139-44. Print.
Trieschmann, Roberta B. Spinal Cord Injuries: Psychological, Social, and Vocational Adjustment. New York: Pergamon Press, 1980. Print.
Watchie, Joanne. Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Physical Therapy: A Clinical Manual. Saint Louis: Elsevier Health Sciences, 2014. Print.
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