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.