Specialist Seating Solutions For Huntington’s Disease

How Specialist Seating Can Help Managing Huntington’s Disease Symptoms

A unique set of challenges present themselves when it comes to specifying equipment for Huntington’s disease.

Huntington’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative and hereditary condition that attacks specific nerve cells in the brain. The condition affects an individual’s ability to control their movements, leading to a range of physical, cognitive impairments and and even changes to a person’s behaviour.

As the disease progresses, individuals with Huntington’s Disease often require specialist seating solutions that can provide support and comfort to manage their symptoms.

This can make it very difficult to prescribe care chairs for people with Huntington’s Disease. In this article, we’ll look at a few things that may be worth taking into consideration when you specify a chair for someone with Huntington’s.

At Vivid Care, we understand the importance of finding the right chair for someone with Huntington’s Disease, and we offer a range of specialist seating solutions that can help individuals to maintain their independence and quality of life.

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Specialist Seating for Huntington’s Disease | What to Look For

When looking for specialist seating solutions for individuals with Huntington’s Disease, it is important to consider several key factors. These include postural stability and support, pressure relief, safety features, and the comfort and mobility of the seated person. It is also important to identify the key features to look for when selecting a specialist seating solution for individuals with Huntington’s Disease.

By addressing these factors, the right specialist seating can help to improve quality of life and reduce the risk of injury and health issues.

In this section, we will explore the critical considerations for selecting specialist seating solutions and provide an overview of the features that can help support the unique needs of individuals with Huntington’s Disease.

When looking for specialist seating solutions for individuals with Huntington’s Disease, it is crucial to consider the individual’s unique needs and preferences. One critical consideration is the level of support required for the individual’s posture and alignment. Individuals with Huntington’s Disease may experience postural instability, which can lead to a range of problems, including pressure injuries and discomfort. Specialist seating solutions that offer postural support and alignment can help to reduce these risks and improve overall comfort.

Seating Adjustability:

Another key feature to consider when selecting specialist seating for Huntington’s Disease is adjustability. Individuals with the condition experience progressive changes in their physical abilities and symptoms, and therefore require seating solutions that can adapt to their changing needs. Adjustable specialist seating solutions allow for customisation, ensuring that the individual’s unique needs are met, regardless of their current stage of the condition.

Support for Muscle Degeneration:

Muscle degeneration, involuntary movements, and loss of mobility associated with Huntington’s Disease can increase the risk of pressure injuries in several ways. Muscle degeneration can cause the muscles that support the body to weaken, this can mean that a person with Huntington’s may “sink into” their chair leading to increased pressure on bony areas of the body. This pressure can cause skin and tissue damage and eventually lead to the development of pressure injuries.

Protecting Against Involuntary (Chorea) Movements

Chorea movements are a common symptom in individuals with Huntington’s disease and can lead to difficulties with posture and balance. These involuntary movements can cause the body to move in unpredictable ways, making it difficult to maintain a stable seated position.

Involuntary movements associated with Huntington’s Disease can cause friction and shear on the skin, which can increase the risk of skin breakdown and pressure injuries. For example, individuals with the condition may rub their skin against clothing or surfaces, leading to skin tears and abrasions.

Specialist seating can be used to support individuals with chorea movements by providing postural support and stability. Lateral support cushions can help to prevent the individual from sliding out of the chair, while seat depth and backrest height can be adjusted to ensure that the individual is properly supported.

Additionally, the use of tilt-in-space chairs can be beneficial for individuals with chorea movements. These chairs allow for changes in position without compromising stability, and can provide pressure relief for individuals who are at risk for pressure injuries.

The padding and positioning of the seat and backrest can also help to reduce the risk of injury from involuntary movements. Padded surfaces can protect against impact, and a deep and safe seating position can prevent falls or other injuries.

Loss of Mobility:

Loss of mobility can make it difficult for individuals with Huntington’s Disease to change positions frequently. This can result in sustained pressure on certain areas of the body, leading to the development of pressure injuries. Additionally, decreased mobility can make it more challenging to notice and address early signs of skin breakdown, increasing the risk of pressure injuries progressing to more severe stages.

Overall, the combination of muscle degeneration, involuntary movements, and loss of mobility can significantly increase the risk of pressure injuries in individuals with Huntington’s Disease. It is essential to incorporate pressure relief features in specialist seating solutions to prevent the development of pressure injuries and maintain skin health.

Upholstered Components

Involuntary movements are a hallmark symptom of Huntington’s Disease. Specialist seating solutions can provide support to these movements to ensure the individual’s safety and comfort. For example upholstered components can help reduce friction and shear forces that may cause skin tears, which can ultimately lead to pressure injuries. This is particularly important for individuals who may experience low/high muscle tone, rigidity, muscle degeneration, weakness, and fatigue.

As the nerve cells in the brain become more and more damaged, the individual loses control over their movements, particularly in their limbs. As you can imagine, continuously bumping against metal components of a care chairs can be painful and cause long-lasting damage.

Some care chairs give you the option of completely covering the components to minimise the chances of the user hurting themselves.

The Omega care chair is an excellent option if this is what you’re looking for. Specifically designed for users with Huntington’s, the Omega is completely covered to prevent any injuries that may be caused by repetitive uncontrolled movements.

Omega care chair

The Omega care chair is a particularly good option for people with Huntington’s Disease.

Pressure Relief

When it comes to Huntington’s disease, making sure that the chair is comfortable in the long term is vital. As a result of the excessive and constant movements caused by this condition, it’s very easy for the individual to lose weight rapidly.

As you can imagine, that makes it more uncomfortable for people when they have bony bits (like their elbows, posteriors, pelvis, etc) that are constantly moving and knocking against the chair repeatedly. This can affect the person’s skin integrity and it can even lead to pressure injuries if nothing is done about it.

Finding a chair that can accommodate pressure relief cushions being used on it (or indeed one that already has it built-in) is highly advised.

We designed out Lento Care Chair to allow you easily choose the grade of pressure relief that your seat cushion offers without needing any tools or special training. This enables you to easily swap the cushion if someone’s risk of pressure sores increases/decreases.

lady reclined in Lento

You can get the Lento with a foam cushion for medium-risk pressure relief, a gel cushion for high-risk, and even an alternating air for those at extremely high-risk.

Pelvic Positioning

This is one of the key things to remember regarding seating and Huntington’s disease is that the person’s pelvis should be situated lower than the knees. The seat may be angled backwards to facilitate this.

Alternatively, tilt-in-space can also be used to angle the knees above the pelvis and keep the person in position.

By having the person’s pelvis at a lower position, it means that they are less likely to slide forwards and out of the chair (which is a common problem when you suffer from involuntary movements and spasms). Again, the Omega chair offers this.

Alternatively, if the individual is still able to stand then the Porta chair may be a better fit. This can offer a little lift to help come to a standing position, but also has a raked seat to maintain a good pelvic position.

Porta chair

The Porta chair is also particularly good at helping people come to a standing position.

If the individual needs extra support in regard to sliding out of the chair, then a pelvic harness can be used. This straps over the legs and holds the pelvis in position to prevent the person from sliding forward.

Postural Instability:

One of the most significant challenges faced by individuals with Huntington’s Disease is postural instability. Pelvic positioning is crucial in achieving proper alignment and postural support. Customised seating solutions for Huntington’s disease can help achieve this by providing personalised support for each individual’s unique needs. This includes lateral support to prevent slouching and forward positioning and posterior support to stabilise the trunk.


We can use specialist seating to make sure that the user is taken care of and their needs are catered to, so by looking out for these 3 things, you could really be helping someone with Huntington’s to keep comfy and supported whenever they’re sat down. Huntington’s Disease can be difficult to live with, so by providing the right care chairs for people with Huntington’s, you could be really helping someone maintain a good quality of life.

But if you have any questions or need any further advice on this, please get in touch with us. Our trained seating assessors can carry out free no-obligation seating assessments for people with Huntington’s, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Alternatively, you can download a free copy of our seating eBook that gives you a step-by-step guide to seating assessments for different conditions.

Date Published


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8 minutes


Graeme Wilson

Product shot of the Omega care chair specialist seating system for managing Huntington's disease symptoms.

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