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State Spinal Cord Injury Service

Spinal Seating Modules

Key concepts in this module

  • As physical abilities that control posture, joint movement and balance are reduced after a spinal cord injury, a thorough manual assessment is essential in the seating and wheeled mobility prescription
  • Knowledge of functional abilities and application at the level of the spinal cord injury will determine the appropriate seating assessment process and techniques
  • Through the MAT process, the clinician can outline the postural control required to prevent deformities and provide adequate support for balance and function. This process assists clinicians to work towards 'shaping' the seating system to fit the client's body shape
  • A history of pressure injuries and skin breakdown must be thoroughly reviewed in relation to the influences of posture on pressure distribution and wound location, so that they can be considered in seating interventions
  • Practice makes perfect: gain skill by practising hands-on assessments on colleagues or on clients, with peer support, and
  • Make a decision to practice hands-on assessment regularly. A consistent seating assessment process improves the clinician's skill level and provides quality seating prescriptions and outcomes.