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State Spinal Cord Injury Service

Spinal Seating Modules

Key concepts in this module

  • A manual wheelchair is a compact mobility aid that provides the client with postural support, pressure care, functional capabilities and access to community participation
  • There is a high incidence of upper limb pain and injury in clients with a spinal cord injury. Wheelchair frame and component options that minimise upper limb pain and injury should be factored into the prescription and configuration of the manual wheelchair, followed by wheelchair skill assessment and training
  • There are often trade-offs with selectable options and adjustment to the manual wheelchair. Stability for safety, propulsion efficiency and manoeuvrability of a system must be customised to the individual client
  • Propulsion-assist devices may be clinically indicated for clients who have upper limb deterioration
  • Propulsion-assist devices may also be an appropriate method to provide clients with greater community access and engagement without needing to transition to a full PWC
  • Assessment of the most appropriate propulsion-assist device is complex: comprehensive assessment of different propulsion-assist devices to meet the client’s needs and seating goals is important, and
  • Establish the conditions for trials in partnership with the client and other team members. Trial feedback and review should also involve the team.