What is Dynamic Seating?
Dynamic seating is movement which occurs within the seat and/or wheelchair frame in response to client movement and force. Dynamic components absorb force which, in turn, assists the client back to a starting position. https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2020/05/05/dynamic-seating-definition/ https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2020/08/07/quick-class-what-is-dynamic-seating/
Where does dynamic movement occur?
Dynamic seating may allow movement at the hips, lower extremities and neck. The dynamic components then assist the client back to their starting position. http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2019/03/12/using-multiple-dynamic-seating-components/ https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2016/10/17/3-reasons-provide-dynamic-posterior-movement-trunk-pelvis/ https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2017/01/09/3-reasons-provide-movement-knee/ https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2017/02/22/3-reasons-allow-neck-extend/
How do I determine how much resistance is needed in the dynamic component?
The client should be able to move the component and readily return to a starting position. If the component does not move, less resistance may be indicated. If the component moves, but does not readily return to a starting position, more resistance may be required. http://www.seatingdynamics.com/category/determining-resistance/
Can dynamic seating be used on any wheelchair?
Some dynamic seating systems are a part of a dedicated wheelchair and cannot be moved to another wheelchair frame. Other dynamic seating is modular and is offered as separate components that provide movement at one body area. One component or several can be used on one wheelchair frame to match a client’s needs at one or more body areas. These modular components typically can be used on many types of wheelchair frames, either retrofitted or at initial delivery. Seating Dynamics components are modular. Please see our Product Compatibility Matrix: https://www.seatingdynamics.com/wheelchair-compatibility/
Who Should Use Dynamic Seating?
How do I know if a client needs Dynamic Seating?
A client may benefit from Dynamic Seating if you are seeing any of the following:
- The client is moving seating components out of alignment.
- The client has broken seating, hardware, or the wheelchair frame.
- The client actively seeks out movement, such as rocking.
- The client is more alert or less agitated with movement.
- The client has sustained injuries from colliding with portions of the seating system or wheelchair frame with sudden force.
- The client has sustained injuries from pushing against the seating system with sustained force.
- The client is ‘standing up’ in the seating system.
If you are seeing any of these concerns, contact your local seating and wheeled mobility evaluation team and ask whether Dynamic Seating may be appropriate.
What are the Clinical Indicators for Dynamic Seating?
Dynamic seating has many potential applications.
- Dynamic components absorb and diffuse force, protecting the wheelchair user from injury caused by their sustained and/or repeated forces and reducing subsequent damage to the seating system and wheelchair (further client injury may occur as the result of equipment damage).
- Movement provides sensory input which many clients seek out and which may decrease agitation and increase alertness.
- Dynamic seating components may improve postural control, stability, and function.
Which clients benefit from dynamic seating by diagnosis?
As dynamic seating is often used by clients who have increased muscle tone, clients with the following diagnoses often benefit from this technology:
- Cerebral palsy
- Huntington’s Disease
- Spinal cord injury (when spasms are present)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Other diagnoses where increased tone is present
As dynamic seating is also frequently used by clients who seek out movement, clients with the following diagnoses may benefit as well:
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental disabilities
- Sensory processing disorder (when a wheelchair is also required)
- Other diagnoses where the client seeks out movement
http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2016/12/05/why-movement-helps-people-with-brain-injuries/ http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2019/08/20/dynamic-seating-for-people-with-cerebral-palsy/ http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2019/09/30/dynamic-seating-for-persons-with-spinal-cord-injury/ http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2019/10/15/dynamic-seating-for-people-with-huntingtons-disease/
For what ages is dynamic seating appropriate?
Dynamic seating is appropriate for children and adults who would benefit from movement within the wheelchair. Please refer to “Who would benefit from using dynamic seating” above. https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2019/11/21/growing-up-in-a-wheelchair-dynamic-seating/
What are the clinical goals of using dynamic seating?
Clinical goals include:
- To protect the client from injury
- To protect wheelchair and seating hardware from breakage
- To increase sitting tolerance and compliance
- To provide vestibular input
- To provide active range of motion
- To increase alertness
- To decrease agitation
- To increase function
- To increase strength and postural control
- To reduce active extension
- To reduce energy exertion
https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2020/08/25/quick-class-dynamic-seating-general-clinical-indicators/ http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2016/07/12/using-dynamic-seating-diffuse-force-reduce-overall-extension/ http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2016/06/01/dynamic-seating-prevent-equipment-breakage-part-1/ http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2016/06/15/dynamic-seating-prevent-equipment-breakage-part-2/ http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2016/08/15/dynamic-seating-provide-vestibular-input-part-1/ http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2016/08/30/dynamic-seating-provide-vestibular-input-part-2/ https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2020/05/20/can-dynamic-seating-improve-postural-control/ https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2020/06/02/can-dynamic-seating-improve-function/ https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2020/06/16/can-dynamic-seating-prevent-client-injury/
When is dynamic seating not clinically indicated?
It is important to ensure the client can return to their starting position after activating the dynamic component. If not, the component resistance can be changed. If this is not adequate to return the client to the starting position, dynamic options may not be appropriate. It is also important to ensure the client return to an appropriate posture. For example, a client may return to the starting position after extending at the hips, but assume a posterior pelvic tilt. Individual manufacturer’s dynamic components work differently and may vary in ability to return the client to an optimal posture. Some clients may experience increased extensor tone and/or postural insecurity and anxiety in response to dynamic movement. Decreasing the amount of movement may help. Check out our blog entry for more information.
Is there any research demonstrating the efficacy of dynamic seating?
Research has been done on dynamic seating and we have a literature review available. There is also a RESNA Position Paper on the Application of Dynamic Seating available which includes an extensive literature review. More research is needed and Seating Dynamics is collecting case studies at this time. http://www.seatingdynamics.com/category/dynamic-seating-research/
I would like to learn more about dynamic seating so that I can use this technology with my clients. Where can I find more training?
Dynamic seating is a relatively new area of wheelchair seating. We have a number of resources available on this website, including links to articles, recorded webinars and a bi-monthly blog (see the Resources Tab above). You may also contact us for further information and product specific training needs.
I know a client who could benefit from dynamic seating. Where do I start?
A good place to start is to seek out a wheelchair seating evaluation with a team of clinicians and suppliers who are familiar with dynamic seating options and applications. If you can’t find resources in your area, give us a call and we will be happy to help you identify someone in your area. http://www.seatingdynamics.com/2019/04/30/evaluation-simulation-and-dynamic-seating-trials/
I am working with a client who uses dynamic seating. The client has had a medical change. Is re-evaluation indicated?
If the medical change has resulted in a difference in how the dynamic seating responds to the client, then re-evaluation is indicated. For example, a client who has started or changed a tone management program may require an elastomer with less resistance.
I noticed that the client is not moving as much as when the Dynamic Seating was first received. Is this typical?
Many clients do not move as much over time but do move enough to know that the surface behind them will continue to yield. https://www.seatingdynamics.com/2021/06/07/y-client-isnt-moving-as-much-what-happened/
How do I order Seating Dynamics products?
Suppliers can register to use our Request for Quote (RFQ) App at https://www.seatingdynamics.com/newregistrant/. After successfully registering, you can simply log on and enter your RFQ here https://www.seatingdynamics.com/registrantrfqs/
Is funding available for dynamic seating?
This, of course, depends on the funding source. However, with proper justification, this equipment is often approved. Please refer to our Funding webpage for more information and sample justification wording. https://www.seatingdynamics.com/funding-dynamic-seating-components/
How do I find a company near me to answer my questions about dynamic products?
Call us at 303-848-3838 and we can give you contact information for suppliers in your area.