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Concepts for assessment and treatment of postural control


5th February 2013 (1.30pm - 4.30pm)


School of Healthcare Studies, Ty Dewi Sant.



Application/contact information: 

Dawn Sparg


To provide clinicians working with patients with neurological conditions with an overview of means of precise analysis of the control problems and to offer some suggestions for specific treatment options.  The theory of Open and Closed chains will be discussed in a biomechanical context as a means of understanding and addressing postural control problems.  Clinicians will be introduced to the Segmental Assessment of Trunk Control (SATCo), a clinical tool for documenting specific motor deficits in trunk stability.  These two concepts will be brought together in a discussion of Targeted Training, a method of treating postural control problems that is effective in patients with moderate-to-severe neuromotor impairment.


Penny Butler, PhD, FCSP, The Movement Centre, Oswestry, UKr

Tutor Biography:

Penny Butler is a physiotherapist with a particular interest in movement control and exploring aspects of control from a biomechanical perspective.  Dr Butler is the Director of The Movement Centre, Oswestry, Shropshire, which provides specialised physiotherapy services for children with neuromotor disability.  She has developed Targeted Training, a physiotherapy approach that is based on the biomechanics of the upright posture.  

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of the course a student will be able to demonstrate understanding of:

  1. To gain knowledge of how patients, particularly those with moderate-to-severe motor impairment, use ‘closed chain’ biomechanics to compensate for deficits in postural control.
  2. To gain knowledge of the benefits of applying an ‘open chain’ approach during assessment and treatment of postural deficits.
  3. To gain knowledge of the Segmental Assessment of Trunk Control.
  4. To discuss the clinical relevance of these new evaluation concepts in the child and adult and the implications for treatment of patients with moderate-to-severe motor impairment using Targeted Training.
  5. The place of Targeted Training within the ICF.

Additional information:

We will begin with an introduction to the concept of Open and Closed chains and their value in assessment and treatment of postural control in patients with neuromotor deficits.  This will be followed with a review of the reliability and validity of the SATCo, a clinical tool for assessing specific deficits in trunk control.  An overview of the administration and scoring procedure for the SATCo will be provided, as well as an introduction to common tester errors and compensatory strategies used when control is compromised.  Participants will be given practice administering the test to one another as well as scoring a few video examples.  The theory of Open and Closed Chains and the SATCo will be integrated into a treatment strategy ‘Targeted Training’ with the results achieved by children with moderate-to-severe motor impairment.  The place of Targeted Training in the ICF will be discussed.  Finally, participants will be encouraged to explore the potential of this approach for the adult patient with neuromotor disability.