Quadriplegia, also known as Tetraplegia, is a type of paralysis that causes partial or full loss of use to the persons body and four limbs. Quadriplegia can be caused by a Spinal Cord Injury, or be a lasting effect of another illness. (Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, etc.) Simply put: Quadriplegics can’t move anything below the neck. A common question that comes up will always be: How does one find happiness through such hardship?
How Disabling is Quadriplegia?
When is comes to which Disability is the most “disabling”, Quadriplegia is high up on the list. In fact, not having control over most of your body is the clearest cut definition of a visible disability. (See our article on Invisible Disabilities) Caregivers are of utmost importance due to the lack of mobility. Interactions like getting out of bed in the morning, eating a meal, even going to the bathroom may give someone the sense of dependence. While it seems like you are living a completely different life, there are some things that are still available to the disabled. Due to the mouth being above the neck, speaking is still an ability Quadriplegics maintain. (varying from from person to person)
The ‘lesser’ diagnosis of Quadriplegia, where the person is only paralyzed below their hips, is known a Paraplegia. This gives people the use of their arms and torso, which luckily allows the person more independence in life. With the use of their upper body, Paraplegics are still able to drive a car, make food, use the bathroom, and overall live a mostly private life. There’s one thing every ‘-plegic’ has in common though.. those dang stairs!
Can Quadriplegics feel pain?
A common misconception people have about Quadriplegics is that they do not feel pain under the neck. While this may be true about the external stimuli, Quadriplegics can still feel the sensations internally in areas that do not respond to external pain. We advise anyone who feels these sensations to speak with their doctor as pain medication will be available for prescription.