Pain & Pain Rx Reduction – Wheelchair Seating Case Study

Matrix, Position Pro, Space Saver Back Support

100+ Bed Post Acute Care Center, Wisconsin


Patient: 66 y/o male

Primary Diagnosis: UE and LB pain, onset of pneumonia, aspiration, pneumonia

Existing Wheelchair Seating: Standard sling seat wheelchair and a foam cushion

Positioning / Clinical Issues: Pt was presenting with severe back pain reporting 10/10 and required scheduled Oxycontin (3 pills) TID.  Pain greatly affected pt’s sitting tolerance and limited his ability to be upright in a WC to 3 hours.  Most days, pt only tolerated being up for meals. The combination of pain and decreased sitting tolerance significantly limited pt’s ability to participate in activites of daily living, rehab and/or leisure pursuits.  

Pt was also not able to tolerate standing for any period of time due to pain and decreased LE/core strength.  He was dependent on a hoyer lift to complete all functional transfers.  

PostureWorks Intervention: Matrix Medium Profile Cushion, Position Pro Insert, Space Saver Back Support


Combined interventions provided optimal pressure redistubution in both the sling seat and sling back of pt’s seating system.  Pt began to report a decline in pain which allowed a reduction in Oxycontin to 2 pills TID. At best, pain decreased from 10/10 to 0/10.  As a result, pt was able to sit up in WC up to 6 hours, and pt was able to tolerate an increase in therapy.

Patient’s motivation enabled him to participate in both PT and OT at an Ultra High RUG level, which allowed the patient and therapy to reach goals that they were unable to reach prior to the positioning intervention.  Improved functional limitations and disabilities that were addressed included a decrease in pain and an increase in strength, balance, and standing tolerance.

Upon time of DC, pt completed slide board transfers at stand by assist and achieved increased static supported standing tolerance from 0 minutes to 30 minutes.  Pt now requires less caregiver assistance without the need for the Hoyer lift to complete functional transfers. Pt is now also able to engage in leisure pursuits that are positively impacting his quality of life.

Quality Outcome Measures Impacted by Intervention: Pain, Rx Reduction, ADLs, Quality of Life

Feedback from Patient: “ My back feels so much better.  The back support really helps to relieve a lot of my low back pain. Because of my cushion, my bottom pain is clearing up a lot, and I don’t have to lay down to take pressure off of it. Due to the excellent work of my therapists my back pain has decreased quite a bit allowing me to stand longer and to complete slide board transfers.  I can also sit on the edge of the bed without low back pain, which I couldn’t do before.”

Note: This is a representative example; actual user evaluations, and decisions regarding the appropriateness of a particular product for a particular individual, should always be made by a qualified healthcare professional.

©2018 The PostureWorks LLC

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