How to Pull Your Pants Up as a Paraplegic

July 17, 2015 | 9:40 am | By Pants Up Easy

Learning to live as a paraplegic obviously takes some getting used to, but you’re probably well aware of all the big lifestyle changes you’ll have to make. You know that you might need some ramps in front or inside of your home to help you navigate different levels. But it’s the smaller, more mundane changes that can really sneak up on you.

Let me give you one of the most jarring questions, which you may not have even considered up until now: how do you pull up your pants? This everyday task you used to take for granted will now become one of your most regular challenges. So how can you cope with pulling up your trousers in this new situation? Here are some tips:

Consider ditching the conventional pants

This is more of a lifestyle change, but if you want to make life much easier for yourself, stop wearing regular slacks, khakis and/or jeans. Instead, contemplate wearing pants or shorts with an elastic waistband, so they will be easier to take on and off. Sweatpants, track pants and athletics shorts are all viable, affordable options (as long as you don’t have to dress up for anything).

Practice practice practice

If you search the web for more information on this task, you’ll find plenty of forum sites where wheelchair-bound folks discuss this new challenge. Although they all agree that it’s difficult to get your pants up, they also know it gets easier with time. The more you practice pulling your pants up, the better you’ll get at it.

So don’t take any shortcuts or use any help the next time you finish using the restroom. Try to get your pants up completely on your own, and figure out what methods work best for you.

Speaking of methods…

You’re probably wondering what these methods are, but they can be different for each person. There will always be significant squirming and lifting involved, and you’ll have to find a way to pick your rear end up off of the seat. If there’s an assist bar near the toilet, you can utilize that, otherwise you’ll have to lift yourself using one of the chair’s armrests.

The easiest way to get your pants up is to lift up one side of your legs/rear end (either right or left) and pull up on the pants, then lift the opposite side of your body and pull again. Repeat this until you can get your pants in a secure position around your waist. If you haven’t done this before, be warned: it can take a considerable amount of time (up to 20 minutes).

…or just try Pants Up Easy

If you’ll forgive us for some self-promotion, we just had to mention Pants Up Easy, because this is exactly why it was created! Our founder realized how long it takes paraplegics to pull up their pants after using the bathroom, and created Pants Up Easy to help them out. It’s a very simple product – basically an extra set of arm supports above your head – which you can use to get your pants up in a cinch.

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