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Seating Considerations for People with Spinal Cord Injuries

News 28th November 2018
spinal cord injuries seating

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries or SCI occur when there has been damage to the spinal cord due to compression, stretching or tearing. The resulting loss of sensation or physical function can take many forms and are dependent on the position of the injury, and the severity of the damage. Symptoms can range from muscle weakness and minor loss of sensation in lumbar injuries, to the most severe quadriplegia in cervical injuries resulting in complete paralysis of limbs and sometimes even limited respiratory function.

Most spinal cord injuries are caused by traumatic injury, most commonly road traffic or sporting accidents. These incidents, by their very nature, are sudden and unexpected and the rehabilitation can be harrowing for patient and caregiver alike. As well as the emotional adjustments and the ongoing therapies, there must be modifications made to the patient’s home to accommodate their altered abilities and needs. A comfortable and functional environment, such as choosing the right seating for spinal cord injuries, is key to fostering independence and recovery.

Choosing the Right Seating for Spinal Cord Injuries

One of the most important things to determine in seating considerations is the needs of the patient. Whether a person’s needs are profound or mild, they can deepen. Conversely, while spinal injuries are normally permanent, there can be improvements in function and ability through therapies. It is therefore advisable to ensure that whatever chair is prescribed, it can be adjusted to meet any new challenges and changes in postural needs. In addition to the individual’s needs, there can be many different symptoms and complications associated with spinal cord injuries, from ongoing pain and swollen feet to pressure sores and altered temperature regulation. The chair must offer some relief from these issues if they arise.

If a person is to spend an extended period of time in a chair, it will need to provide a high level of support. Careflex and Kirton chairs come with both a manual and motorised “tilt in space” function which allows for release of pressure points and fully adjustable back and head rests for postural alignment, minimising the incidence of pressure sores and helping with lymphatic drainage and swelling. Both chairs offer a high degree of personalisation with a full range of accessories to provide whatever degree of support an individual needs.

With over 30 years of experience working with healthcare professionals, Felgains FormAL has seating solutions for every need. From the Careflex Hydrotilt care chair for those who simply need a little support, to the Kirton Duo care chair or Smartseat Pro chair for those with more profound limitations Felgains FormAL will work with you to find the solutions to your seating requirements.