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  • Print publication year: 2008
  • Online publication date: August 2009

5 - Seating and positioning

Summary

Spasticity causes seating challenges for a variety of people with disabilities: from children with cerebral palsy, young adults with head injuries, middle aged people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and older persons who have suffered cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs) and use wheelchairs. Spasticity, in itself, is not necessarily a problem and may assist in maintaining a seated posture. This is in contrast to hypotonia, where providing seated support in a functional position is often very difficult. Detailed assessment is essential so that a full picture of patient's problems relating to spasticity is drawn up in order that clear, specific and realistic objectives can be agreed on by all those present and a detailed prescription produced to achieve the objectives. In any system that claims to reduce spasticity and thereby promote good seated posture, reduction in joint contractures and improvement in upper limb function, it is important that such claims are validated.

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