I see a lot of clients for head positioning in their wheelchair seating system. This requires a thorough seating assessment, as well as providing the best product. Even if I choose what I believe to be the very best head support for a client, I find that maintaining the position of that support is a challenge. I continually find that the hardware has moved, often resulting in a sub-optimal head position for the client.
The Dynamic Head Support Hardware absorbs client forces and then returns the client to an upright and neutral head position. The purpose of this dynamic component is to protect the client from harm, prevent the mounting hardware from breaking, and to reduce overall extension tone. This hardware can be used with nearly any head pad to best meet an individual’s needs. Continue reading →
Did you know that Seating Dynamics has a very comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions? You can find this list by ‘hovering’ over the Dynamic Seating tab on our website. One of our FAQs is “Can dynamic seating be used on any wheelchair?”
This blog is the third in a series on determining the optimal resistance when using dynamic components. The first blog in this series addressed determining resistance in the Dynamic Rocker Back Interface (DRBi) and the second blog addressed finding the optimal resistance when using Dynamic Footrests. In this final blog, we shall turn to the Dynamic Head Support Hardware.
Our last blog provided suggested wording to be used in documentation to obtain successful funding for Dynamic Footrests. In the last of this series, we will look at specific wording for various applications of Dynamic Headrests.
These examples do not replace competent evaluation. Choose the wording that matches an individual’s specific needs and modify accordingly to reflect a specific client’s needs. I find it helpful to begin with a brief definition, as reviewers are often unfamiliar with this technology. For example:
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”!
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 →
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 →