Prone Standers for Cerebral Palsy

Birth Injury, Equipment

A prone stander is a supportive device that can help children with cerebral palsy maintain an upright or nearly upright position. There are many benefits to this type of support, from added stability to enhanced hip stabilization. Prone standers are easily adjusted to accommodate the unique needs of each child while offering as much or as little assistance as required.

What Is a Prone Stander?

A prone stander is a piece of equipment that supports the child from the front of their body. The user leans forward into the stander, relying on the equipment to hold them up. The stander keeps the child in an upright position with a slight incline forward, and the child’s arms are placed in front of them on a tray. Though the user’s upper body leans forward slightly toward the tray, they are supported in a manner that allows them to interact easily with others as though they’re standing.

The feet, knees, buttocks, and trunk are all supported by the prone stander using a variety of optional accessories that provide as much or as little assistance as the child needs. Prone standers are typically adjustable, so this piece of equipment can grow with your child.

How To Use a Prone Stander

The goal of the prone stander is to allow the child to participate in a variety of activities or therapies and complete tasks more easily. Prone standers are very customizable to accommodate different users. No two children will use a prone stander for cerebral palsy quite the same. Work with your doctor or physical therapist to find the best way to support your child with a prone stander.

Some of the accessories that you may choose to use with your prone stander include:

  • Trunk lateral support blocks
  • Knee lateral support blocks
  • A hip or trunk strap
  • A hip stabilizer
  • Foot wedges
  • Adjustable abduction wedge
  • Round abduction block

The prone stander can provide sufficient support to facilitate the hip extension and knee extension necessary to keep the child in a standing position. The child will rely on all of the support that’s available, so provide only as much support as is absolutely necessary to allow your child to use and develop their own motor skills as much as possible.

When used properly, the prone stander will:

  • Support the child in an upright position
  • Free the child’s hands for various activities
  • Make materials and tools accessible to the child via the tray
  • Provide the child a good view of their surroundings
  • Enable movement and improve performance

The prone stander is typically adjustable to any degree from zero to 85. When the prone stander is in its vertical position, the footboard is very close to floor level so children can easily transfer in and out of the device.

Prone Stander Benefits

Spending time in an upright position increases weight-bearing and offers numerous benefits to children with cerebral palsy. When the body is regularly supported in this position, the child can enjoy health benefits such as:

  • Improved upper body strength
  • Better balance
  • Increased standing tolerance
  • Enhanced endurance
  • Greater bone health
  • Reduced spasticity
  • Prevention of pressure ulcers
  • Prevention of contractures
  • Lessening of progressive scoliosis
  • Improved renal function
  • Better urinary tract drainage
  • Better bowel function
  • Enhanced respiration
  • Improved circulation
  • Better hip alignment
  • Therapeutic stretch for their legs
  • Strengthened lower body muscles
  • Better head control

The benefits of a prone stander extend beyond the physical, as well. In a prone stander, the child can more easily interact with peers. This equipment gives the child the opportunity to experience standing with friends or seeing the world from a height that’s similar to what he or she would experience standing on their feet.

Reasons To Try a Prone Stander

There are many situations in which a prone stander can help a child with cerebral palsy. You may want to consider implementing a prone stander for your child if you want to:

  • Enhance social interactions: The prone stander places your child at eye level for easy conversation while their body is still supported.
  • Increase weight-bearing: By gradually adjusting the positioning of the prone stander, you can increase your child’s weight-bearing abilities slowly.
  • Minimize extensor tone: The board’s prone tilt uses gravity to ease excessive extensor, or muscle, tone in the limbs, and minimize uncontrolled movements known as extensor thrusts.
  • Increase control of the head and trunk: By allowing the slight pull of gravity on the head and trunk, a prone stander encourages the child to develop stronger muscles and better control.

The expenses associated with a prone stander and other types of cerebral palsy equipment can add up. You may be eligible for compensation to help with these expenses if you believe your child’s condition is the result of medical malpractice. For assistance with your case, contact the Cerebral Palsy Family Lawyers at Janet, Janet & Suggs, LLC.

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