Postural Management

It is generally agreed that children with moderate to severe physical disabilities e.g. cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophies, developmental delay or acquired injuries, fail to develop age-appropriate postural control, attaining and maintaining symmetrical positions, which is where postural management comes in.

Should a child continue to adopt poor positioning this may have a destructive effect on the child creating a fixed asymmetrical posture leading to pain, fatigue, damage to skin integrity, reduced function and effect the child’s quality of life, which is why postural management can be vitally important.

Goals of Specialised Seating:

• Facilitate feeding
• Normalising Tone
• Maintaining structural alignment an preventing deformity i.e. Scoliosis and/or Kyphosis
• Prevent contractures
• Reduce/erase pain by increasing comfort and relaxation
• Promote function by providing a stable support base
• Prevent pressure sores
• To gain a good functional position in order to allow the child to interact with their environment and promote active involvement with activities.
• Reduce need for orthopaedic surgery
• Sensory/perceptual development: including vision, learning and attention/concentration

A child’s potential can be maximised by introducing a 24-hour postural management programme which may include specialist seating, both at home and in school including appropriate head rest, and sleep systems.

A postural management plan will include:

• Individual assessment of child in the required setting i.e home/school.
• Clinical reasoning will be used to ensure appropriate recommendations are made; this will include needs of the child, environment, carers/parents needs and moving and handling concerns.
• Child to be assessed with recommended chair/system
• Report will be completed listing details of specialist equipment

Examples of Commonly Used Postural Management Chairs for School and Home

Low to Moderate Postural Requirements. Moderate to High
Smirthwaite Heathfield
Smirthwaite Brookfield
Leckey Pal
Vela Tango
JCM Triton
JCM Triton Dynamic
JCM Jupiter
R82 Panda
R82 Wombat
Leckey Everyday Chair.
Leckey Mygo