JAY Has Your Back – Six Tips for Choosing the Best Backrest
All of my life I have played sports, but due to a busy schedule my days of playing on teams is on hold. These days I serve as an assistant softball coach for my oldest niece or cheer on my nephews from the sidelines. One trend I have noticed is that the metal bleachers are becoming emptier, but the number of spectators is not changing. So what's the story? People have realized that instead of sitting on a metal surface without back support, they can bring a portable chair with a more supportive seat and back to watch a game. In our industry terms, we might say that spectators of recreation league sports have become hip to the benefits of increasing their overall seating footprint!
When we talk about "increasing a client's seating footprint" the goal is to provide support to all of the individual's load bearing surfaces from head to toe. Proper back support is a significant portion of the seating footprint. Identifying the best backrest for a client is a delicate balance between providing the proper amount of targeted support to maintain the client in the best position without limiting his/her ability to function as independently as possible in the wheelchair.
In an effort to simplify the selection process of clinical seating products, last fall Sunrise Medical created the JAY® Signature Series. The Signature Series is comprised of the most elite JAY® seating products including the J3™ backrest product line. Let's explore the five different types of J3™ backs:
J3 Posterior (PA) and J3 Posterior Lateral (PL)
With only 2.2" of contour the J3 Posterior (PA) back provides the least amount of built-in lateral support of the backs in the J3 line. The J3 Posterior Lateral (PL) back has a slightly deeper level of contour at 3".
J3 Posterior Deep Lateral (PDL) and J3 Posterior Deep Contour (PDC)
Both of these backrests were designed to provide greater level of built-in lateral support. The J3 Posterior Deep Lateral (PDL) back offers 6" of built-in lateral thoracic support, while the J3 Posterior Deep Contour (PDC) back has 6" of built-in lateral pelvic support.
The NEW J3 Posterior Deep (PD)
Similar to the PDL and PDC backs, the new J3 Posterior Deep (PD) back offers 6" of lateral support. However, the location of the support is different. The wings on the PD back are roughly 2" higher than the wings on the PDC and lower than the PDL, thus becoming known as the "Goldielocks" of the J3 deep contour line of backs. The design of the PD back allows for a better fit with the majority of clients and offers a less intrusive lateral design to make the overall backrest more forgiving and easier to use.
Now that we've taken a closer look at the types of the J3 backs, here are six steps for selecting a J3 back:
Step One: Contour Depth
Determine how much lateral support and the best location of the support is needed.
Step Two: Level of Support
Identify the proper level of support the client will need to sit properly and function as independently as possible. There are four support height levels available in J3 backs: Lower Thoracic (LT), Mid Thoracic (MT), Upper Thoracic (UT), and Shoulder Height (SH).
Step Three: Back Support Height
Determine the proper height of the back support. Each of the four level of support option for the backs come in three sizes (small, medium, tall) to accommodate for varying torso heights.
Step Four: Back Width
Take the measurements of the widest part of the back to determine the proper back width.
Step Five: Hardware
There are five hardware options for J3 backs:
- 2-point (standard or extended) – easy to install, quick-release hardware
- 4-point (standard or extended) – quick-release hardware that withstands greater force by distributing across four mounting locations.
- Lite Mount – fixed hardware for a rigid mount
Step Six: Accessories & Additional Supports
Determine if the client needs additional equipment to best support him/her. The MT, UT, and SH configurations of the J3 back are able to accommodate additional positioning components including headrests and lateral thoracic supports (fixed and swing-away options). In addition, spine align positioning components can be utilized with all four back height options. The CradleU Lateral (pictured) is ideal for providing additional lateral support when utilized with the shallower back options (PA and PL), but can work on any other J3 backs.
Please note: when selecting any piece of seating and mobility equipment we strongly encourage a complete assessment (including a mat evaluation) of the client be conducted by an experienced clinician and complex rehabilitation technology supplier.
Thank you for reading our blog! We love hearing from you, so please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We encourage you to leave a comment or send us an email.
Always remember at the end of the day, your client is your number one priority!
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Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are intended to be utilized as a general resource for clinicians and suppliers to then use clinical reasoning skills to determine optimal seating and mobility solutions for individual clients. Steve and Angie are unable to answer questions from members of the general public including caregivers and end users. Members of the general public should direct specific questions to their own clinicians, medical, suppliers, or other health care professionals.
Posted by: Date: 3/20/2015 1:52:48 PM
Filed under: Angie