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Fit for the 21st Century

CPEP Presents Research on Posture in Youth


Postural Screening in School Children with and without Down Syndrome

Mrs. Reham Jalal Ibrahim, PT, CPEP*

Dr. Muneera Alghanim**

Postural variations and deviations are often found in children and teenagers. It is around puberty period when the posture undergoes many adaptations in response to changes in the mechanics and the mass of the body.

Many factors influence normal postural development such as; improper postural alignments at home and at school and the presence of impairments affecting muscle tone and strength.

The progression of postural deviations may results in severe structural deformities such as scoliosis; which may eventually cause pain and compromise the cardiopulmonary system. People with Down syndrome, trisomy 21, usually suffer from hypotonia, joint instabilities and ligamentous laxity. Therefore the purpose of this study was to identify which postural deviations occur most often in students, with and without Down syndrome, between the ages 7 and 17 years.
METHODS: Participants; 10 participants with and without Down syndrome were screened for postural deviations. Instruments; a computerized postural assessment kit was used to measure displacements of the head, thoracic, and pelvic region in the frontal and saggital planes.

RESULTS: Postural deviations were found in healthy students and in those with Down syndrome. Discussion& Conclusion: High incidences of postural alterations occur in children of school age; some of these reflect normal postural development, while other alterations are asymmetries that could cause serious complications.

The screening process is simple and is done utilizing a computerized posture assessment kit for assessing postural index. Light-reflective anatomical markers are placed at specific locations on the body, and a series of four pictures from different views are then taken by digital camera. The entire process takes a maximum of ten minutes for each individual.

*Department of Physical Therapy, Alnibras Ideal School, Ministry of Education
**PhD, PT, Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Kuwait University


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