People who find it hard to move can find that gravity affects their body in such a way that the body twists and bends into unusual shapes. This can cause pain, discomfort and health problems as well as increasing difficulty in function. The body is designed to be relatively symmetrical so when a body starts moving away from symmetrical and starts fixing into unusual postures the person’s function and health are often affected. Many people with movement problems are at greater risk of pressure sores, loss of joint ranges of movement, orthopaedic deformities especially of the spine and hip dislocation. These are often treated surgically but it may be possible to delay or prevent the need for surgery.
“Postural care is gentle and is all about protecting body shape”
Age doesn’t matter as postural care can be used even if the body shape has changed already. A 24 hour postural programme needs to fit into the person’s lifestyle and pattern. This should include corrective seating in wheelchairs and comfy/lounge seating, walking and standing aids, use oforthotics (splints), night-time positioning, use of correct moving and handling equipment.
Postural care allows movement within safe boundaries, it provides a long period of stretch to muscles especially when they are relaxed at night helping to prevent deformities across joints and deformities of the spine. It must always be fitted carefully to the person using it and adjusted as the person changes or grows. It should always be comfortable and as simple to use as possible. Sometimes towels or cushions can help support a straight lying position other times more specialised equipment is needed Positive Positioning provides the information needed to help make the right choices.