The Best Chairs for People with Scoliosis
Scoliosis is a condition that makes the spine twist and curve to the side (making the spine appear C- or S-shaped). Although it cannot be ‘cured’ or ‘fixed’, it can be improved with treatment.
People with more severe scoliosis may need a specialised chair, and finding the most suitable chair can help improve your posture and therefore improve your scoliosis and spinal positioning. We generally abide by the rule that people who are hoisted will need a care chair, whereas more mobile people should look for a rise and recline chair.
If you require specialist seating urgently for someone with Scoliosis, please get in touch. We are still able to take orders and arrange delivery.
The Correct Seat
The first step in improving scoliosis through seat positioning is making sure the seat is right for your client. Their pelvis should be positioned correctly for the chair to have the best effect on their spine.
Their hips should land centrally, and to the back of the chair for the best positioning. These characteristics are included in most good quality care chairs, but it’s always worth checking before you look at anything else.
Fixed or Loose Lateral Supports
Lateral supports are paramount to helping improve posture. By including these in the chair, you can help to counter-support both sides of your client and aim to alleviate the twist and bending that scoliosis causes.
Lateral supports will help to keep your trunk straighter and prevent you from slumping sideways. These lateral supports should be placed accordingly (often with the help of an occupational therapist) and they’ll probably be situated in different positions on the body to best suit your client.
It’s more common to have loose/removable lateral supports in chairs for people with scoliosis, as it allows the carer or the individual to reposition the support accordingly. However, it is possible to have built-in/fixed supports, but it depends on the person’s needs.
Neck and Head Positioning
Moving up the body, neck and head supports are also good to include in chairs for people with scoliosis. This again will help to stop you from slumping sideways, and therefore minimise any possibility of worsening your scoliosis.
The neck and lateral supports will help to facilitate a best-as-possible neutral midline from the head right down to the pelvis, and there should be no severe neck flexion.
Tilt-in-space helps to maintain good head positioning. By tilting the chair back, this allows gravity to aid in the prevention of neck flexion.
Tilt-in-space also helps to combat any pressure build-ups and provide pressure relief for people who spend a lot of time seated. The Lento Care Chair or Duo Care Chair would be ideal for scoliotic spines. Both include lateral, neck, and head supports, as well as tilt-in-space.
The Lento Care Chair and the Duo are highly-adjustable to suit people with varying levels of scoliosis.
What do we recommend?
However, our biggest recommendation is a seating assessment with an OT or a chair specialist to help determine exactly what it is the individual needs.
We hope that this guide will help to clarify what should be considered in chairs for scoliosis sufferers. For information on seating and other medical conditions, look here.