Better posture means better arm rehabilitation. Period. Said another way, proper trunk alignment is essential for efficient arm movement.  However, in most cases, hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body), paraparesis (weakness on the lower half of the body), and a variety of neurologic conditions (that effect arm and leg movement) cause poor trunk alignment. In turn, this makes regaining arm and leg movement that much more challenging. Enter the Nada Chair. This small piece of “equipment” could be a game changer for seated posture.  In turn this will result in more efficient and effective arm rehabilitation. Before I get into all the benefits of the Nada chair, it is worth it to explain a little bit more about postural alignment and the impact it has on arm rehabilitation.

What is normal trunk alignment and how does it improve arm movement?

Normal trunk alignment is when all of the natural curves are present in the spine.  More importantly, having proper trunk alignment could be the difference between “some arm movement” and “no arm movement”.

So, what exactly does “correct” trunk alignment look like? From the side, the spine should like an “S” curve. The top of the “S” should be slightly rounded with the “peak” facing toward the back (also knows as kyphosis). The lower half of the “S” should be curved with the “peak” of the curve facing forward (also known as lordosis).

correct trunk alignment side view

From the front, the trunk should be relatively straight up and down.

trunk alignment from view

What does poor trunk alignment look like and how does this hurt arm movement?

It is common to see the trunk alignment take on more of a “C” shape versus an “S”.  A “C” shape occurs when there is too much kyphosis in the thoracic spine and no lordosis in the lumbar spine. A spine that looks like a “C”, creates two problems. First, a “C” shape or rounded spine puts bones in an “unnatural position”. For example, a rounded spine typically places the shoulder blade (large flat bone on the back of the shoulder) more on top of the shoulder. This will result in the shoulder blade getting in the way of normal shoulder flexion (reaching the arm upward).  Second, a rounded trunk decreases the amount of power that a muscle can generate. This problem has to do a muscles length-tension relationship. The length-tension relationship is a concept whereby each muscle has an ideal length where it is capable of generating the most power. Not too long and not too short. When you lose proper trunk alignment, muscles will either be too long or too short and not at their ideal position to generate the most power. No bueno in the early stages of rehab.

image of correct and incorrect trunk alignment

All that being said, it is critical to have proper trunk alignment when performing arm rehabilitation. And yes, I am 100% aware that I am repeating myself. That usually means, it is super duper important. Hence, this latest “installment” in my list of “product recommendations”. Oh, and by the way, for those of you who are new to “my style”. When I pull out the “super duper”, you know I mean business 😉

What is the Nada chair?

The nada chair is a light weight strap that runs along the lower back and pulls the lumbar spine into lordosis. As you can see, this keeps that super nice and necessary lordotic curve in the lower spine. The strap extends down to wrap around the knees providing a counterforce to the back strap.

female with a vector image of the nada chair

What are the benefits of the Nada chair?

  • it is lightweight
  • it comes in its own pouch and is easily portable
  • provides a counterforce at the knees to prevent sliding forward

Why is the Nada chair better than a lumbar roll?

A lumbar roll must be perfectly positioned at the lumbar spine.  Often times, this is hard to do. Whether it is strapped to the back of the chair, or not, it inevitably slides down. Also, in most cases, even if it is positioned correctly, the person has a tendency to just scoot their hips forward in the chair and thus returning to losing that nice lordotic curve in the lumbar spine.

lumbar roll

As mentioned above, the Nada chair provides a counterforce at the knees and pretty much eliminates the chances of the person adjusting their position.

Patient sitting without the Nada Chair

male with poor posture

Patient Sitting With the Nada Chair

picture of the nada chair in use with a patient

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