Body Segment Angles: The Key to Better Understanding Postural Deviations


Credits: .1 CEU
Presenter: Kelly Waugh, PT, MAPT, ATP



What is the difference between the thigh to trunk angle, thigh to pelvis angle, and sagittal pelvic angle? How do they relate to hip flexion and posterior pelvic tilt? In this webinar, I’ll first review the difference between joint range of motion and body segment angles so that you can relate mat exam findings to seated posture and wheelchair seating angles. Then we will delve deeper into the distinctions between the relative body segment angles of the trunk, pelvis and thigh, and how these angles relate to typical postures of the spine and pelvis such as kyphosis, lordosis, and posterior or anterior pelvic tilt. Being able to visualize and measure these angles can help you to better understand and describe complex postural deviations, which will improve your ability to provide appropriate seating interventions. Case studies will be used to show the clinical application of these concepts.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will be able to translate a hip flexion angle measure from a mat exam into a thigh to trunk angle measure and corresponding seating angle.
Participants will be able to define and explain the differences between the thigh to trunk angle, thigh to pelvis angle, and sagittal pelvic angle.
When provided with two hypothetical measures of thigh to trunk angle and thigh to pelvis angle, participants will be able to distinguish if the seated person’s posture is kyphotic or lordotic.

Kelly Waugh, PT, MAPT, ATP, is a Senior Research Instructor and the Clinic Coordinator at Assistive Technology Partners, a program in the Department of Bioengineering, University of Colorado Denver, USA. Ms. Waugh has 34 years of clinical experience as a physical therapist and educator, specializing in Wheelchair Seating & Mobility and Nighttime Positioning. Ms. Waugh has served on the ISO Wheelchair Seating Standards Committee for 17 years, with a focus on the development of standardized measures of wheelchair seated posture and seating support parameters. She is the primary author of A Clinical Application Guide to Standardized Wheelchair Seating Measures of the Body and Seating Support Surfaces. Ms. Waugh received both her B.A. degree in Human Biology and her M.A. degree in Physical Therapy from Stanford University in Stanford, California, USA.