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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? 

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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.

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Seating Dynamics offers 3 Dynamic Seating options – the Dynamic Rocker Back interface, Dynamic Footrests, and Dynamic Head Support Hardware. The last option is available in Single Axis (which moves about 10 degrees posteriorly in midline) and Multi-Axis (which moves about 10 degrees in any direction). The hardware is compatible with a number of manufacturer’s head pads.

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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.

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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.

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