Why Formal?

Working with the NHS, large care home groups, hospitals and healthcare professionals for over 30 years, the FormAL team focuses on posture and pressure care products.

The team is experienced in providing the best solutions to most effectively meet your specialist seating needs. We look forward to supporting you!

Elevating quality of life through focus on the wellbeing of all

Effective positioning

Specialist Seating

When considering specialist seating and systems, there is a minefield of information and factors to consider. Positioning, skin care and the environment are only a few. FormAL's team focus on providing the most satisfactory solution for their clients. Sizing is a key feature to be considered. If the specialist armchair is the wrong size, the product will offer inappropriate pressure relief and cause postural management issues.

Tilt-in-space is another key element of specialist seating when considering pressure care and postural management. The mechanism allows the pressure, caused by the body, to be redistributed throughout the seated period and assists with reducing pressure build-up in small areas by maximizing the contact surface.

Why is effective positioning important?

Service users of specialist seating rely on the maximisation of stability which is best provided through effective positioning. Pressure sores, ulcers and many other similar ailments can be caused by a lack of adequate support and suitable positioning choices.

Having exact and correct posture and positioning is vital in many, if not all, cases. The most important of these cases are when a service user has either reduced mobility, pressure ulcers (or at risk of these), requires specific care to be carried out in bed or is otherwise unstable.

Obviously, providing the service user with increased stability also allows carers a safer environment to work in and facilitates them to carry out day to day tasks with increased efficiency, ease and effectiveness.

What is effective positioning and how is it achieved?

Stability is the vital element in administering an elevated level of security and relaxation for service users.

By distributing pressure, through increased stability, better support is achieved as well as pain relief.

Neutral joint positioning (this is where ligaments and joint capsules are least tense) is the key to a good position as the limbs are not being forced to support themselves.

From the service user's viewpoint many other benefits will become apparent through stable positioning, such as the prevention of neuropathies and constriction of blood vessels as the torso and frame will be in a perminently supported, stable and secure position.

Common postural abnormalities

Anterior tilt

Anterior tilt

  • Pelvis tilted forward
  • Exagerrated lumbar curve
  • Shoulder blades retracted
  • Eyes upwards
  • Reduced upper limb function
Posterior tilt

Posterior tilt

  • Pelvis tilted backwards
  • Rounded shoulders
  • C-shaped spine
  • Eyes downwards
  • Reduced space in chest cavity


  • Spine compensates by twisting to get back to mid-line
  • Abnormal S-shaped lateral curvature of the spine

Other postural abnormalities to look out for include:


Excessive outward curvature of the spine, causing forward flexion


Excessive inward curvature of the spine


Characterised by both legs being thrown in the same direction


Shortening and hardening of muscles, tendons, or other tissue that leads to deformity and rigidity of joints

Pelvic obliquity

Imbalance in the level of the hips causes tipping and increases pressure on hips

Pressure care

Pressure damage occurs when there is an interruption to the supply of oxygen and nutrients via the circulatory system, and this can be caused by many different factors.

Factors causing damage:

  • Direct pressure
  • Force concentrated on a small area

Beware: incorrect placement of cushions and accessories

  • Friction and shearing
  • Layers of skin rubbing over each other
  • Sliding down beds and chairsr

Beware: poor technique in manual handling

Other contributing factors:

  • Incontinence
  • Poor nutrition
  • Moisture build up
  • Prolonged time spent sitting
  • Temperature

Look for the signs:

  • Blanching
  • Red patches
  • Hollowness


Pressure sores can appear on almost any part of the body, but the most common places to monitor regularly are the buttocks and sacrum, feet and heels, elbows and knees.


Contact us

Felgains FormAL
33 Knightsdale Road
Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 4JJ
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01473 463900
Part of FormAL Group Ltd | © 2016 FormAL Group Ltd
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