In part 1, we discussed in detail about importance of independence in Bed to wheelchair transfer techniques to live active life after spinal cord injury, and some general rules and techniques for easy and safe transfer. In this article, we will read about Bed to wheelchair transfer techniques of paraplegics and quadriplegics.

paraplegic transfer

As paraplegics have full functionality of their hands and arms so they can get independence in transfer quite easily. They need to take care of the rules and techniques for safe transfer as discussed in part 1.


quadriplegic transfer

As majority of quadriplegics have injury level of c5 c6 so they don’t have very important muscles required for lifting one’s self up while sitting. These muscles are known as triceps muscles. Their chest muscles are paralyzed as well so they have poor trunk balance. That’s why transfer becomes very difficult in tetraplegia. One can still get independent in transfer but for that a lot of hard work, training and practice is required.


Exercises for quadriplegic transfer:

For getting independence in transfer, quadriplegics need to work on their arms, shoulders and sitting balance. Following exercise are very useful for this purpose:

  • For making your shoulders stronger sit in bed and try to lock elbows and lift yourself up with both your arms.
  • Then after getting some strength drag yourself in bed from one place to another.
  • Another very important exercise that can help you in making your trunk balance good is short sitting. Sit in bed with legs down. First try to sit with out support of arms. Then bring the hands forward and backwards with repetitions.
  • After getting strength, try to drag yourself from one place to another in bed. Presence of some one is very important to avoid fall and injury.

Read also spinal injury rehabilitation guide


Transfer from wheelchair to bed and reverse

Transfer with sliding board 

When starting independent transfer initially, sliding board can help a lot. It is a frictionless smooth surface which make transfer easier.

  • Bring  your wheelchair near bed, apply breaks.
  • Place one end of sliding board under thigh and buttocks and the other end on bed.
  • Lock your elbows and lean forward.
  • Using strength of your arms and shoulders push yourself from wheelchair to bed.
  • Repeat the process in reverse while transferring from bed to wheelchair

Transfer with help of attendant:

  • First try to transfer from wheelchair to bed and reverse with help of an attendant.
  • Bring the wheelchair close to bed and cover the gap if any.
  • Attendant should support you from shoulder or forehead.
  • Move your head down, lock your elbows and push yourself with arms   from wheelchair to bed with one or several movements.
  • For transferring from bed to wheelchair repeat the process in reverse.

bed to wheelchair transfer guide quadriplegics transfer


Transfer independently:

After weeks and months of practice you will be able to transfer between bed and wheelchair independently. You can do it in two ways:

  • First method is safer one. Bring your wheelchair close to bed and cover the gap in between with cloth etc. First take your legs to bed and then lock your elbows and using arms strength drag yourself to bed with one or several movements.
  • In second method after locking elbows move head down and drag yourself to bed. Pick your legs to bed at the end. Be careful not to fall forward and injure yourself.
  • For transferring from bed to wheelchair, repeat the procedures in reverse.


You can watch me transferring to bed in the video below: