If you have a muscle-wasting condition and you have difficulty moving around or need support to maintain your position when upright or with repositioning, you may be at a greater risk of developing problems with your posture. This means you could need postural care to protect your body shape. With a muscle-wasting condition, it is important to understand posture at all stages of your life, and to access specialist care and the right information to take care of your posture and protect your body shape.
Having 24-hour postural care can help to encourage body symmetry and symmetrical movement patterns. Without correct postural care, unwanted changes to your posture and your body shape could result in:
- Pain and discomfort
- Joint stiffness
- Hospital admissions
- Increased equipment and care needs
- Decreased function and independence
- Social isolation
- Reduced quality of life
You can start taking care of your posture and thinking about 24-hour postural care at any stage in life. If you notice that your posture or the shape of your body is beginning to change or has changed, you should speak to a physiotherapist or an OT for advice about postural care. They can help you understand your needs by assessing your body shape, posture, and positioning. This will help them advise on equipment and good positioning 24-hours a day. OTs and physiotherapists can work with you to create a 24-hour postural care plan to support you with maintaining body shape.
The aim of 24-hour postural care is for your body to be symmetrical, where possible, and for you to be well supported throughout the day and night, in a way that is safe and comfortable. Along with good positioning, 24-hour postural care may also include specialist seating, positional equipment such as sleep systems and wedges, side lying equipment, stretching and mobility equipment.
Remember – every person is different and requires individual advice, support, and equipment. This information should not replace direct advice or information from a specialist consultant or health care professional. If you have any concerns, you should speak to your neuromuscular clinical team.
For further advice or information and some helpful links to resources which may also help with understanding posture and postural care, please download the factsheet available on this page.