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How to look after your posture with a muscle wasting condition

If you have a muscle wasting condition and have difficulty moving around, or you need support to maintain your position when upright or with repositioning, you may be at a greater risk of developing problems with your posture.

What is posture?

Posture is the position of your body when you are lying, sitting, standing, or moving around. There are two types of posture.:

Dynamic posture: This is the position of your body when you are moving around, for example when you are walking.

Static posture: This is the position when you are not moving, such as sitting or lying down.

Your everyday activities can affect your posture, and your posture can impact on the shape of your body.

Postural care to protect your body shape

People with a muscle wasting condition may be at a greater risk of developing problems with their posture and could need postural care to protect their 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
  • Contractures
  • Scoliosis
  • Hospital admissions
  • Increased equipment and care needs
  • Decreased function and independence
  • Social isolation
  • Reduced quality of life
When should I start postural care?

You can start taking care of your posture and thinking about 24-hour postural care at any stage. 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 occupational therapist (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.

What does postural care entail?

Once an assessment has been completed, OTs and physiotherapists can work with you to create a 24-hour postural care plan to support you with maintaining your 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.

It’s important to seek specialist advice from a healthcare professional if you need support with your postural care. If you have any questions or concerns you should contact your neuromuscular clinical team for support.

Download the factsheet here

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