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Standing Therapy

We all take it for granted, but the human body needs to have an upright positioning to avoid many health problems. 

When solving the problem of Evander's mobility we opted for a piece of equipment which would give him independence to explore but would also provide upright positioning which is an essential part of his daily therapy routine.

Evander needs to stand (load bear) for about 45 minutes per session, 3 times a day to help with his circulation, urinary health, bowel function, bone density, and overall health.

Read about Evander getting his new stander >>more

 

Benefits of Standing

The Leckey Squiggles Stander, which Evander uses to stand, has a great page in it's brochure that details all the benefits of standing for children with spinal cord injury and paralysis. 

 

Standing increases bone density and reduces the risk of fractures. Normal bone development needs a combination of good nutrition, weight bearing, e.g. through standing or walking, and the use of muscles. Research shows that standing improves the bone density of the pelvis and leg bones of non-ambulatory children, such as those with CP, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida or spinal cord injury.

Standing enhances circulation and blood pressure. Effective circulation is closely related to breathing. Standing results in improvements in blood pressure, heart rate and circulation, and a reduction in orthostatic hypotension and oedema in the legs and feet.

Standing aids digestion, bowel function and bladder drainage. Standing is believed to help with digestion and toileting though a combination of gravity and the activation of the stomach muscles. Studies have backed this up showing improved bowel regularity and clearance and better bladder awareness and emptying.

Standing stretches muscles, preventing the onset of contractures. Research shows that standing programmes, if maintained, improve the extensibility of the hamstrings, increase range of movement and reduce the extent of spasticity. Standing also provides proprioceptive input to young developing muscles and joints, builds endurance to standing and regulates resting muscle tone.

Standing enables kids to interact eye-to-eye with their peers. Eye-to-eye interaction improves confidence, self-esteem and self- image as the child can accomplish tasks in the same manner as other students or siblings. Supported standing eliminates the fear of falling and so allows the individual to direct their attention towards learning and social interaction.

Standing facilitates the formation of the hip joint in early development. Children who stand at the normal developmental age of 12-16 months are considered more likely to develop the ball and socket of the hip joint, which can prevent hip subluxation or dislocation. Standing from an early age also helps a child with standing transfers in the future.

Standing improves respiration and voice control. When we stand, the diaphragm has more room to expand and contract, meaning that we can breathe in and out more easily, deeply and efficiently. Therefore, standing allows individuals to speak with improved volume and voice control.

Standing improves wellbeing, alertness and sleep patterns. Studies have reported improved sleep, decreased fatigue, increased alertness and feelings of wellbeing from regular standing. While standing, the effects of retained primitive reflexes such as symmetrical tonic neck reflex (STNR) and tonic labyrinthine reflex (TLR) are more controlled and therefore, sensory organisation, comfort, energy and attention are maximised.

Standing improves skin integrity by relieving pressure encountered during sitting. As standing improves respiration, it allows more oxygenated blood to reach tissues which are subject to pressure when seated, resulting in fewer bedsores and improved skin integrity.

The full article and clinical references in support of standing can be found at leckey.com