Dynamic Seating for People with Huntington’s Disease

Dynamic Seating for People with Huntington’s Disease

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

Oftentimes people ask me who is appropriate for use of Dynamic Seating. Many people can benefit from this technology. One group of people for whom Dynamic Seating is particularly helpful are those with Huntington’s Disease.

Dynamic Seating Footrest

Dynamic Seating components, like this footrest, can assist wheelchair users by allowing body movement triggered by Huntington’s Disease.

Huntington’s Disease, also referred to as Huntington’s Chorea, is an inherited condition that leads to degeneration of the nerve cells in the brain with resultant physical, mental, and behavioral decline. The Juvenile version occurs before the age of 20 and results in a faster progression. Most people develop symptoms in their 30s and 40s. People with this condition have large, forceful, involuntary movements. Chorea, often part of the name of this disease, is a writhing movement.

Eventually, people with this disease will require a wheelchair. Due to these large and forceful rotational movements, very durable and rather institutional manual wheelchairs are frequently recommended as the client may tip and/or damage a less robust base.

How can Dynamic Seating help Huntington’s?

Part of what we do in Complex Rehab is bring something helpful to a difficult situation. Huntington’s Disease can be a devastating diagnosis, though Dynamic Seating can bring a solution to a number of seating and wheeled mobility issues.

Dynamic Seating moves in response to the client’s movements, accommodating these involuntary movements and limiting potential client injury that may occur when moving against non-yielding surfaces. Basically, instead of banging into the wheelchair frame and seat, the system moves with the client, limiting injury and pain. Dynamic Seating also diffuses forces that can lead to equipment breakage. Finally, absorbing and diffusing these forces can reduce the possibility of the wheelchair tipping over.

Challenging situations call for innovative solutions. At Seating Dynamics, we are committed to Making Wheelchairs Better to address these concerns, including the unique issues seen in people with Huntington’s Disease.

Do you work with people who have this diagnosis? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below and we will be in touch.

References:

Huntington’s Disease, Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/huntingtons-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20356117. Accessed 8/20/2019.

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