Why 24 Hour

Postural Management is so Important


osture is the way we hold ourselves or position parts of our body in relation to one another and their orientation in space. This might be intentional or unintentional, because posture can be influenced

by many factors, including our body shape and size, the task at hand, and even the supporting surface on which we are sitting, standing or lying.

Comfort, stability, and function are all interconnected and essential for achieving good posture.

The human body is made up of many different systems that work together to achieve good posture. As we grow and our brains develop we learn from information that is sent from various sources, including visual, vestibular (balance system) and proprioceptive (sense of position) input, and gradually responses become automatic.

Damage to any of these systems, through injury or disease, can affect our ability to interact with the information and go about our daily lives. We can experience difficulty attaining postural control and stability, vital for function; consequently impacting on normal movement.

Remember that stability can only be achieved with comfort! Gravity can also affect posture; by making it difficult to control our head, trunk and upper limbs against the pull of gravitational forces. It can exaggerate postural asymmetries, thereby increasing the risk of further damage to body systems.

Failure to protect an individual’s body shape can result in many secondary

Failure to protect an individual’s body shape can result in many secondary complications, including pain and discomfort, increased risk of pressure injury, deterioration in health, and even early death.

Postural management is the use of any technique to minimise postural abnormality and enhance function. It is a multi-disciplinary approach that encompasses a person’s daily life across the full 24 hours, respecting all activities and interventions that impact on posture and function. It must be considered on an individual basis following a comprehensive assessment.

If you have any concerns regarding posture and pressure management please contact Rebecca Dunstall BSc Physiotherapy (Hons) CareFlex Clinical Specialist 0800 018 0664

Imagine an elderly lady with dementia who instinctively curls up in to a foetal position when she gets in to bed, but lacks the cognitive function to change position throughout the night. Or a young man with cerebral palsy who, due to gravity and neurological involvement, remains restricted in a windswept position, but lacks the physical ability to change position. Prolonged periods of abnormal postures increase the risk of postural deterioration and the associated secondary complications.

Both the aforementioned individuals are at risk of contractures in their lower limbs. It is unlikely either will be able to achieve a comfortable sitting position during the day after a full night fixed in one asymmetrical position.

So it is important to consider the management of posture throughout the full 24 hours, otherwise it will be difficult, if not impossible, to sit out. This will impact on other aspects of daily living and quality of life.

To ensure optimum positioning during the day, we must consider the position that a person adopts throughout the night.

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