Achieving Head Alignment through Movement

Vince is a young adult with the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. He had significant muscle tone throughout his body and frequently extends in his current wheelchair seating system. We were anxious to explore dynamic seating options to diffuse some of this extensor tone. However, Vince had very little hip flexion or extension beyond his current seated position and, as a result, he could not benefit from a dynamic back which allows movement past this point. He had no knee extension past 90 degrees and his range limitations prevented him using even the telescoping feature of a dynamic footrest. We were unsure if we could provide any dynamic intervention when Vince broke yet another head support.

The Dynamic Head Support Solution

We decided to try a dynamic head support hardware. With the addition of this dynamic component, we found that Vince’s head was in an aligned position most of the time, rather than his typical hyper-extended position. He experienced less force through the cervical area, as well, which we hoped would protect his neck from injury and increase his comfort. His overall extensor tone and posturing improved when force was diffused at his neck. Finally, Vince has yet to break his head support hardware since “going dynamic”!

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Dynamic Head Supports – the importance of design in meeting client goals

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

In our last blog, we discussed clinical indicators and contra-indicators to allowing movement into neck extension using a dynamic head support. Dynamic movement in this area can protect the head support hardware from damage, limit client injury, and reduce overall extensor tone. How does design facilitate these goals? Continue reading

3 Reasons to Allow the Neck to Extend

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

In previous blogs, we have discussed clinical indicators for providing dynamic movement at the hips and knees. Another location dynamic movement can be provided is at the neck through Dynamic head support mounting hardware. Most dynamic options allow movement into neck extension and then facilitate return to an upright and aligned posture. So when is a dynamic head support clinically indicated?  Continue reading