24-Hour Postural Management Is Key
Correct seating and positioning should not just start at an early age — in infancy, ideally — but also be implemented often. In fact, Ross Andrews, International Business Manager and Seating Specialist with Specialized Orthotic Services (SOS) by Drive, said that postural management should be carried out throughout the day and night.
“I think 24-hour posture management is definitely key,” he said. “The book doesn’t just stop at getting a [wheel]chair, because if you break it down into numbers: I might sit in a chair between six and eight hours a day. That’s roughly one-third of the day. If the other two-thirds of the day, I’m in a very poor position, what that chair is doing towards maintaining a good posture or corrective is just going to be undone in the other 16 hours.”
Proper positioning also includes sleep — a time when people are likely to slip into positions that are comfortable but not necessarily beneficial from a clinical standpoint. Andrews said, “Everyone when they sleep, they get into a preferred position. And for some of our clients, that preferred position can be detrimental to that spinal position.”
Implementing 24-hour posture management can dramatically reduce the rate of degeneration over time. “This disability will mean eventually, if not supported correctly, they get that severity of scoliosis that can potentially lead to lung collapse on one side because the scoliosis is worsening so much,” Andrews explained. “This 24-hour posture management and early prevention with corrective seating and positioning for spina bifida clients specifically are potentially life-lengthening pieces of equipment.”
This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of Mobility Management.