Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Kylie and I have known each other for a long time. This young woman lives in Wyoming and works in the theatre. Kylie has cerebral palsy and has used a power wheelchair and speech generating device since a young age. She has recently started using dynamic seating. I spoke with Kylie and her mom, Chele, by phone.
What Dynamic Seating is Kylie using now?
On her power chair, Kylie uses a Seating Dynamics Dynamic Rocker Back interface (DRBi), Seating Dynamics Dynamic Footrests and a Stealth Products Dynamic Head Support (tone deflector). On her manual wheelchair, Kylie has Miller’s dynamic coil springs on her footrest hangers.
How has Dynamic Seating helped Kylie?
“Before Kylie got the Dynamic Footrests, she was constantly breaking her footrests. She was fracturing pieces of metal and everyone kept telling us ‘this shouldn’t happen.’ Getting the dynamic footrests has cut down on trips to the supplier for repairs.” Kylie and her Mom must drive to Denver for repairs, a trip that takes about 3 hours. “Kylie used to get pressure injuries on her heels and the inside of her feet. We had to use corn pads and she had to wear really good shoes (athletic shoes) to protect her feet. With the dynamic footrests, we don’t have to use the corn pads and she can wear any shoes she wants without pressure concerns.” Kylie is a styling young woman who likes her shoes!
“I don’t like to tighten the belts on the seating system down all the way, because I want Kylie to be able to move. With the dynamic back and footrests, she can move, stretch out, and get the pressure off of her butt. Before Kylie had a dynamic back, she would rise up against the back when extending and her head would go up and over her headrest. Now her bottom stays in the seat.”
“Kylie used to break her headrest left and right, but this has not broken since she got the dynamic headrest. We used to go through 2 – 3 headrests a year.”
“Before getting dynamic seating, Kylie couldn’t stabilize against portions of her seat to be functional, as it was uncomfortable. Now she is more functional and comfortable.”
Have you noticed any drawbacks to using Dynamic Seating?
“I have learned not to stand right in front of Kylie’s feet! Now that she can move, the footplates sometimes hit my legs and it hurts! But I love that she can move her legs.”
“The dynamic piece on her manual wheelchair footrest hangers is bent and doesn’t allow her to move.” Kylie’s tone is so strong, that she has actually bent these coil springs on the manual wheelchair (see photo below). As a result, her feet and legs are not positioned optimally. She will be receiving Seating Dynamics Dynamic Footrests soon for this chair.
Dynamic Seating can diffuse force, protect the wheelchair from breakage, improve function and comfort and even allow someone to wear the shoes they want!