Which kind of client is most suited for the x:panda?
The x:panda can be used by clients with various conditions. However, it was specifically designed for use with clients with cerebral palsy at GMFCS Level 3 – 5. These clients often present with strong extensor spasticity, pelvic asymmetry and developmental delays. The x:panda is an adaptable modular seating system that can be configured to accommodate a variety of postural needs including hip migration and hamstring tightness. It is adaptable for children as young as five months of age and up to young adulthood.
What impact does extensor spasticity and thrust have on children in their seating system?
Children experiencing involuntary extensor thrust are able to exert very large forces on the seatback, headrest and footrest that can lead to significant skin breakdown even if the seat is well padded. During these involuntary movements, children have difficulty in postural maintenance mainly due to destabilization of the hip joint and most have the same difficulty in returning the pelvis to its original position.
How does the dynamic seat back of the x:panda work and why is it so important?
A dynamic seat is a potential solution to provide greater freedom and safety for children with extensor thrust. A study by Seong-Woo Hong et al provided invaluable information for the design of dynamic seats. The engineering team at R82 designed a patented dynamic back with gassprings for the x:panda seating system. Particular attention was paid to the articulation of the backrest relative to the seat. The goal being to create a seating system that moves in harmony with the body. The pivot point for the x:panda aligns to the hip’s natural pivot point. This ensures that the head support and trunk supports remain in the correct position when the child pushes against the dynamic back, thus resulting in minimal shear.
The dynamic back of the x:panda absorbs the energy driven by the child’s trunk extension and returns them back to their original upright posture without compromising the pelvic position or the placement of the head and trunk supports in relationship to the body.
The gas springs have variable settings to control the range of trunk movement or they can be locked completely for situations when limited movement is desired, such as during transportation or feeding.
Other potential benefits to using the dynamic back rest include reduction in intensity of non-voluntary movement, improved tolerance to seating, pain reduction and reduction in potential skin breakdown. Overall, it may offer optimum positioning within the seat to enhance stability, symmetry and function (Adlam).
What research has been done to compare a dynamic versus a rigid back system?
Research by Cimolin, et. al compared the x:panda dynamic seating system with a rigid seating system in dystonic patients with cerebral palsy using quantitative analysis of movement.
This study found that adding dynamic components addressed some of the issues related to abnormal movement patterns.
The dynamic seating of the x:panda was able to reduce the forces experienced by the users on the seatback and increased their range of motion in the anterior-posterior direction, thus enabling the upper body to rotate back and then return to the starting position which limited the sliding down of the trunk. The conclusion was that all of these elements may lead to increased occupant comfort and postural stability.
For more information about the x:panda, to schedule an inservice or to request a product demo, please contact your local Convaid R82 Territory Manager.
Cimolin V, Piccinini L, Avellis M, Cazzaniga A, Turconi AC, Crivellini M, Galli M. 3D-Quantitative evaluation of a rigid seating system and dynamic seating system using 3D movement analysis in individuals with dystonic tetraparesis. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2009 Nov;4(6):422-8.
Freney, D. & Schwartz, K. (2015) Dynamic Seating, NRRTS Directions, Vol 4:45-48.
Hong, et al. (2006) Indentification of human-generated forces during extensor thrust. International Journal of Precision Engineering and Manufacturing. 7(3): 66-71.
Patrangenaru, V. (2006) Development of Dynamic Seating System for High-tone Extensor Thrust. Georgia Institute of Technology.