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A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
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Europa Medicophysica 2001 June;37(2):101-9

language: English

Three-dimensional analysis of the sitting posture

Lissoni A., Caimmi M. *, Rossini M. *, Terenghi L.

From ­the “Villa Beretta” Rehabilitation Centre Costa Masnaga (Lecco) and Ospedale Valduce di Como
*Laboratory of Movement Analysis


Background. An eval­u­a­tion of ­the sit­ting pos­ture is par­tic­u­lar­ly impor­tant in sub­jects ­who, ­for path­o­log­i­cal rea­sons, ­are ­unable to ­stand ­upright; ­the ­data ­obtained ­allow ­the ­most suit­able ­aids to be cho­sen ­and ­their ­ideal adap­ta­tion. The ­aim of ­this ­study ­was to ­define a quan­ti­ta­tive meth­od of meas­ur­ing sit­ting pos­ture in ­both stat­ic (posi­tion relat­ing to pel­vis – shoul­ders – ­head) ­and dynam­ic con­di­tions (pos­sibil­ity of mov­ing ­trunk ­and ­head ­both in rota­tion ­and lat­er­al flex­ion).
Methods. The mate­ri­als ­used ­include an optoel­ec­tron­ic ­system ­for move­ment anal­y­sis (­with appro­pri­ate adap­ta­tions ­and ded­i­cat­ed soft­ware) ­and a spe­cial­ly ­built ­chair ­that ­meets ­the require­ments of ­the ­test ­and ­also ­allows ­for ­the pos­sible dif­fi­cul­ties of ­the sub­jects to be test­ed. A ­total of 15 ­healthy ­male sub­jects ­aged ­between 14 ­and 16 ­years ­old ­were ­enrolled in ­the ­study. The pel­vis, shoul­ders ­and ­head seg­ments ­were iden­ti­fied ­using 8 mark­ers so ­that ­their recip­ro­cal rela­tions ­could be ­defined on ­the fron­tal ­and hor­i­zon­tal ­planes; ­the pos­sibil­ities of rota­tion, lat­er­al flex­ion ­and (­for ­the ­head ­alone) flex­ion-exten­sion ­were ­then meas­ured.
Results. In addi­tion to ­the remark­able sym­me­try of ­the ­data ­obtained (­healthy sub­jects), ­the sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis of ­the ­results ­show min­i­mum ­degrees of rota­tion-incli­na­tion of ­the seg­ments stud­ied, ­both in rela­tion to ­the exter­nal ­space ­and ­between ­one ­another. The dynam­ic ­test con­firms ­the sym­me­try of ­data ­and ­shows ­that cer­vi­cal mobil­ity is approx­i­mate­ly dou­ble in rota­tions com­pared to lat­er­al flex­ion; ­the cer­vi­cal con­tri­bu­tion to rota­tion is con­sid­er­ably great­er ­than ­the tho­rac­ic ­and lum­bar verte­brae togeth­er; ­the cer­vi­cal con­tri­bu­tion to lat­er­al flex­ion is ­almost ­the ­same as ­the ­sum of ­the tho­rac­ic ­and lum­bar com­po­nents. Lastly, in cer­vi­cal move­ments on a sag­it­tal ­plane, flex­ion cor­re­sponds to approx­i­mate­ly 40% where­as ­the exten­sion occu­pies ­the remain­ing 60%.
Conclusions. In con­clu­sion, a ­three-dimen­sion­al anal­y­sis of ­the sit­ting pos­ture ­and ­the rel­a­tive pos­sibil­ity of ­trunk ­and ­head move­ment ­appears to be a fea­sible ­test ­that is repeat­able, reli­able ­and use­ful ­for ­the func­tion­al eval­u­a­tion of wheel­chair sub­jects ­and to ­define ­the ­aids ­that ­are ­often sug­gest­ed in ­their reha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme.

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