Special Needs: Cerebral Palsy
Name: David Boyle, Occupation: Student; part time radio presenter (rock music)
Cerebral Palsy with increased tone, more marked on the right side. David has tight hip adductors, which necessitates the use of a wheelchair because walking is so difficult. David sits sacrally when in his wheelchair or on a conventional seat, with shoulders hunched, shoulder blades ‘winged’, chin protruding and cervical spine in excessive lordosis. David’s pelvis tends to pull obliquely to the right. David is not able to walk any distance.
Introduction to the Saddle Seat
David saw the Bambach Saddle Seat while it was in use as a drummer’s stool and thought it might work well for him. He tried the seat and was shown how to sit on it correctly to maximise the benefits as well as how to use the adjustments to maintain good position at his computer. He also used the Bambach Saddle Seat at the dining table.
David found the position comfortable at once, and his posture improved visibly. When seated, his body is now symmetrical, his spine in a correct posture and his chin and neck in their neutral position. On the Bambach Saddle Seat David assumes a posture that inhibits abnormal tone, with the hips abducted and extended to 45 degrees, weight being taken through the legs and feet which are now actively being used not only to take weight but to push and pull in all directions to move David around the room. David found that he was now also using his back muscles:
My back is a lot straighter and it has helped my walking, as I can now walk straighter and have more strength in my back.
David says he is walking greater distances now, shopping and outings are more enjoyable, and he looks and feels more ‘normal’ as he does not need his wheelchair.