People with a limited ability to stand are at high risk of developing secondary conditions because they often sit for long periods of time. These secondary conditions can reduce their quality of life significantly. The advantages of putting users into a standing position include increasing bone mass, strengthening muscles, furthering respiration, and enhancing development of the hip socket. The upright position also increases a user’s viewing area and enhances their feeling of well-being.
Weight bearing is important to the user when developing and strengthening the hip joints.
- Increase bone density
- Decrease joint contractures
- Improve cardiopulmonary function
- Improve digestion
- Increase bone growth
- Increase alertness
Many Cerebral Palsy patients are users of standing frames. They say the spasticity in their legs decreases after regular use of the standing frame. In recent years science has shown that standing has a positive effect on reducing and preventing spasticity.
Standing often is more important that the length of the time standing. In normal development, the child starts crawling and pulling themselves up at eight months, standing at ten months and walking between 12-15 months.
We recommend children living with special needs get their first standing frame at the same time that most typical children start total weight bearing on their legs, around the time they reach their first birthday.
- When positioning people in standing frames, it is important to use the pelvis as a key point. The pelvis must be symmetrical and it must be neutrally tilted.
- The user must stand symmetrically with equal weight on both legs and with the pelvis in a neutral position.
- Head and body should be in midline.
Prone standing stimulates the user to more active extension, especially if the frame is tilted a few degrees forward. Standing supine is recommended if the user has poor head control or to make transfer easier to the standing frame.
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