27th April 2022
In clinical, therapeutic seating the footplate is essential in order to stabilize the feet which can effect posture, function and the overall quality of life for a patient.
If the patient is not properly loaded or supported in their chair they may be forced into a posterior pelvic tilt and may use their feet/heels/ankles to stabilize themselves. The heels/ankles are bony prominences, which can be subject to pressure ulcers/injuries if the body and the feet are not loaded properly. The stability of a patient's feet being fully loaded on an appropriate footplate can reduce the risk of sliding and falls from the chair, and contributes to good posture in sitting.
Increased Function: Loading the feet properly on an appropriate footplate makes the patient more stable and secure in their chair, especially during transfers. When a patient is stable they feel safe within the chair, and with their feet firmly resting on the footplate, they are able to maintain a greater level of independence and can assist in seated to standing transfers allowing them some mobility.
Things to consider:
If the seat depth is too short they may exert more pressure through the feet and if the seat depth is too long they may be at risk of being pulled into a posterior pelvic tilt/sacral sitting position, increasing the risk of pressure injuries in this exposed area of the sacrum.
That is why all of the Seating Matters chairs come with a footplate as standard.
To learn more about clinical seating provision, request a copy of The Clinician's Seating Handbook for a more in-depth look at seating in care facilities, hospitals and private homes.
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