Call 1300 499 282 or email sales@hiaus.net.au to speak to our specialist team

Lower Body Positioning

Lower Body Positioning products help you achieve good seating posture with increased stability, better range of motion, improved foot circulation and sustained hip and knee position for maximum comfort. 

It is essential to position the lower body correctly, as the lower body affects the positioning of the pelvis, balance of the body, and freedom of movement of the upper body. 

Hence it is vital to have the right positioning tools for the lower body.

Knee Extension

Assessment

Knees are extended, causing feet to hang forward of the footplate. This can lead to foot injury and pressure behind the foot. Increases overall wheelchair turning radius.

Causes

Wheelchair issues: inadequate postural support to prevent extensor thrust leading to pelvis sliding forward. Inadequate foot support hanger angle, or foot supports not low enough.

Physical conditions: increased extensor tone, weakness, decreased quadriceps range of motion,  over-lengthening of the hamstrings, and structural knee changes.

Foot Support Goals

To reduce overall extensor tone and increase stability. Alleviate pelvis and lower leg pull. Protect the feet. Accommodate for fixed knee extension

Solutions

Unequal Lower Leg

Assessment

One leg is shorter than the other, which may require an asymmetrical seat. One foot may need to be supported higher than the other

Causes

Wheelchair issues: none

Physical conditions: leg length discrepancy, polio, fixed pelvic obliquity, asymmetrical hip flexion contractures, surgery, trauma

Foot Support Goals

Prevent pressure under the thigh by providing support to each foot at the correct height. Increase stability for function.

Solutions

Ankle Contractures

Assessment

Fixed range of motion limitations do not allow the full inferior surface of the foot to contact the foot support. Can lead to poor lower body support. Can lead to pressure over the areas that contact the foot support

Causes

Wheelchair issues: poorly fitted foot supports, often collapsing in at middle

Physical conditions: abnormal muscle tone leading to range of motion limitations in the ankle and/or orthopedic changes in the foot, Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy, lack of weight bearing, surgery

Foot Support Goals

Match the angle of the feet as much as possible to provide full support and pressure distribution, keeping femur parallel with the seat.

Solutions

Knee Flexion

Assessment

Feet are often positioned under or behind the knees. Pulling the feet forward usually results in a posterior pelvic tilt. The feet may become caught behind the foot supports and injured

Causes

Wheelchair issues: lack of stability in the seating system may lead someone to tuck their legs under in an effort to stabilise

Physical conditions: range of motion limitations, particularly the hamstrings, increased knee flexor tone, structural knee changes

Foot Support Goals

Provide lower body support without causing stress to the hamstrings or the knee, while maintaining a neutral pelvic tilt

Solutions

Relevant Articles

Other Resources

Other Resources

© 2019 HIA Ltd