What is standing? Redefining the mechanics of standing and clinical interventions

Kimberly N. Huggins, Michelle M. Turner, 2018


Abstract  Standing is a fundamental requirement for a body to be upright and is a precursor to ambulation. During early childhood development, standing helps to properly form hip joints and prevent subluxation and dysplasia. For children without the ability to independently bear weight, professionals often prescribe time in a standing apparatus. Children may also be prescribed and orthotic for the foot, the foot and ankle, or the foot ankle and knee. ​


All movement requires an opposition to gravity. Standing requires forces in two directions, opposition to gravity and applied force. These actions work in the understanding of Newtonian laws while also representing a new understanding of how the body maintains an upright position. Interventions aimed to improve standing should first be focused on the pelvis. Pelvic involvement and positioning drive the alignment of other joints above and below. With proper pelvic engagement and positioning, the hips will properly rotate within the dockets and the rotation of the femur will guide proper alignment of the knees. If the knees are properly aligned, the tibia and fibula will align over the ankle and the foot will exhibited the applied force driven through the legs. Without pelvic engagement, interventions for standing remain suboptimal in both creating movement and of therapeutic value. 


Infant Developmental Movement Patterns: Evaluation Techniques and Definitive Milestones

Michelle M. Turner, 2018


Abstract At its peak, the human body moves fluidly while maintaining a balance and opposition to gravity. During the neonatal period, infants do not present with the ability to produce purposeful actions or demonstrate specific motor functions. The development of complex movements begins in infancy and builds upon the exploration of limb movement, followed by trunk involvement and ultimately whole body movements like walking. In early development, newborns require continuous and unique opportunities to experience functional movement. Newborns are not able to initiate, stimulate or enhance functional movement through their own abilities. Failure to establish the body’s relationship to the natural forces of gravity, rotation and counterbalance during this period of time through functional movement has been shown to lead to significant short-term and long-term developmental delays. This paper presents a new model for evaluation techniques for infants that relies on functional movement patterns. The rethinking of essential movement patterns during the body’s transition from the neonatal period to early infancy is key to establishing effective cognitive evaluation techniques for young children’s development.   Ultimately, implementing movement-based evaluation techniques is a necessary intervention for clinicians and parents alike to enhance proper motor development, particularly for those at risk for developmental delays.

Keywords: development, infant, milestones, developmental delays, functional movement

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