Head supporting stabilization
Head is every person's command centre. Parents, caring for their children, pay most attention to the child's head. They protect it in every possible way. A disabled child's carer should pay special attention to this body part.
Disability is often related to lack of control of head movements. In such cases parents struggle to help their child. Usually, they seek physiotherapist's help who, through a range of activities, try to restore head stabilisation. In most cases, rehabilitation exercises have the desired effect, which need to be fostered at home during everyday care. Unfortunately, excessive care from the parents often has the opposite effect, instead of being helpful, they may diminish the child's and the physiotherapist’s hard work. Too much support at stabilisation renders the final effect. To see how it works, a simple exercise can be done. Put a hand at the back of another person's head and ask them to lean against it. Next, after a few seconds, take the hand away. The head will fall downwards, which makes us aware of an important thing – our body gets used to comfort and always takes the opportunity not to make an effort. Often, the child will try to get the parents to give them aid when they don't really need it. In such cases, the parents need to take time and make it clear that they will not give in. If the parents are consistent, the physiotherapy effects will be established and more visible with time.
However, in some situations a headrest can be used. Everyone happens to have a bad day e.g. after a tiring rehabilitation, or a difficult day at school. We should let the child rest, when we you think they need it.
The headrest is recommended for patients with spine scoliosis. The body rotates from the pelvis to the head. If all the spine parts are set correctly, and the head still rotates towards one way, a headrest should be used. This will set the head along the body axis and the desired effect will be reached.
However, there are cases when the headrest does not help and the rehabilitation does not bring the desired effects. This regards patients with muscle atrophy. Due to their condition they are not able to control the head movements, or they are losing this ability. The headrest, being a natural part of the backrest, with effective side supports, enables to set the head properly. Thanks to that, the carer can easily feed the patient, let them relax in the natural position, or perform many activities which improve head - eye coordination.
Physiotherapists have been seeking solutions which would support the patient in other ways. They were consulting with manufacturers of the rehabilitation equipment and informing them that the best results are received by traction. Thanks to the physiotherapists and engineers' mutual cooperation, the HEADPOD was designed.
It is used for active support of head stabilisation. Its uniqueness lies in using silicone straps attached to the holder above the head, supporting the forehead and the back of the head. Thanks to this solution, the effect similar to traction is achieved, which allows head movements that were not possible before. As a result, the neck muscles start to work in their correct position, and the head is set in a position similar to its correct pattern. The evidence shows that long-term usage of this device strengthens the neck muscles, which influences establishing proper head position. The Headpod equipment contains several kinds of attachments, which enable mounting the equipment to various devices. So, the usage of the equipment is not limited to home. It can be used outdoor by attaching it to the pushchair while having a trip outside. This device could become indispensable and provide aid to the patient in many difficult situations.
Most of all, it needs to be remembered, that support with head stabilisation should be part of the rehabilitation process. The decision must be preceded by throughout thinking and seeking professional advice. Supporting devices, in particular, aim at extending the effect achieved by the physiotherapist.