Case Studies

Special Needs: Muscular Atrophy

Name: Ruby Neale, Occupation: Student


Ruby has muscular atrophy, which means that she has difficulty maintaining good posture, especially for a long time. Sitting in a classroom chair puts her in such a poor posture that she is at risk of developing kyphotic/spinal deformities. In her classroom posture, Ruby’s shoulders are hunched, her neck is hyperextended, and her chin protrudes in order to see and perform her work. Her spine is curved into a ‘C’ shape with a flattened lumbar curve. She suffers from fatigue. While sitting, functional tasks are difficult to perform. Her thoracic function is impaired because her chest is collapsed onto her abdomen, restricting the action of the diaphragm as well as the action of the ribs.

Introduction to the Saddle Seat

The Bambach Saddle Seat was recommended to Ruby by her occupational therapist. The seat tried was a reduced abduction seat with a standard back, an 80 mm drop-through gas lift, 3 locking and 2 standard castors. Ruby was at ease on the  Bambach Saddle Seat from the time she first tried it. The therapist was on hand to make adjustments and recommendations for best posture and access to schoolwork.


With her pelvis now in its neutral position, Ruby can assume and maintain a correct posture, which greatly improves her ability to perform functional tasks as well as working longer without fatigue. Her head shoulders and chin are now in a comfortable position, allowing her to work and focus on her fine motor skills with the security of a stable, upright pelvis and a spine in good posture. In addition, the risk of spinal changes due to poor posture is decreased, and function of thorax and abdomen are greatly improved as the Saddle Seat position maximises the space of these cavities.

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