I'm sat in a black dress with poke dots in a blue computer style chair against grey blinds.
Cerebral Palsy, Occupational Therapy Student

Using My OT Knowledge to Make Sense of Postural Management Throughout My Life

Hello, and welcome to another post. I was going to do another placement post but as much as I want to post more placement content in my final year of being a student I’m also aware that my blog is not just about being a disabled student and therefore I wanted to talk about something different today.

So I’ve had to rack my brain about other topics I could write about as all my ideas were about university and placement, as that is my life at the moment.

Then I thought of postural management…

A few months ago I participated in an OTalk about postural management and said to others that I would tell my postural management story, but due to one thing or another I never got round to it, sorry it’s later than expected but here it is!

Anyway, Georgia get on with it…

Postural management is and always has been part of my life and since studying to become an OT and especially since my paediatric placement I have become more aware of how important this is.

When I was on my paediatric placement I learnt all about 24-hour posture and since reflecting on this placement and attending the OTalk I’ve been reflecting on my postural management and this has enabled me to make sense of past events.

Thinking about 24-hour posture I wanted to start with what equipment I’ve used to help my posture through the night.

Night gators: 

When I was around 7 I got night gators. These were not my friends I’m afraid and caused me a lot of pain and they didn’t last me very long because of the pain caused. However, as a child, I remember feeling bad because they didn’t last and I would try and sleep with my legs as straight as possible. I probably never did anything but I was still mindful of what I was missing out on, not as mindful as I am now of course.

Even though, I was mindful of what I was missing out on I never knew it was for my posture. So, my advice would be to always ask why- it’ll help you grasp the bigger picture one day!

Wheelchairs:

Most of my wheelchairs has been made specially made for me, to make sure I’m getting that right support, as my trunk and core is not as strong due to my CP. I’ve had wheelchairs and special prams from very young to support my posture and this has had a very big impact on my life. This has been a worry of mine during lockdown because before March last year I was using a wheelchair 3 times a week and now I’m not which is not good for my posture. Yes, I use a wheelchair for pain and fatigue management but there is a lot more to it than what it seems as it’s also about seating positions. For example, I use to have lateral supports of my wheelchairs to stop me from leaning over to one side.

Chairs:

I’ve had a few specialised chairs throughout my life to also help me with my posture. I had one that I used in primary school to help my positioning and support my trunk and then of course I have my blue one now! I love my chair now it supports me so much I can certainly tell when I have been sitting in a different chair. I work around my dining table so it’s easier to not bring my blue chair in and to just sit on an ordinary chair but trust me this extra 30 seconds in a morning of setting my chair up is so worth it.

When everything I’ve talked about in this blog was happening I wasn’t necessarily thinking about the effects this was going to have on my posture (apart from my latest chair of course) but since starting my occupational therapy studies, I have realised just how important these things have been in aiding my posture. In which I am thankful to have learnt this to make sense of these events in my life.

The emphasis on postural management must be presented by professionals to older children so they have access to the correct tools and knowledge to continue this into adulthood.

I hope this has been useful!

Thank for reading,

Georgia 
@georgiavine4213
@GeorgiaVineOT

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