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Growth and Solid Backs



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I was asked my advice on another interesting clinical conundrum, which I explore in this article.

The Challenge

A teenager sat in a 36cm x 50cm (14” x 20”) manual self-propelling chair. He is 2,00m (6’6”) tall and still growing!

Current JAY J3 Shoulder High, Mid Contour (8cm depth) backrest with asymmetrical lateral thoracic supports is working well but it needs to be 8cm (3”) taller to accommodate future growth.

The current 36cm (14”) wide backrest shell is 53cm tall but there is no option for a taller backrest in that particular shape. Moving up to a 41cm (16”) wide shell (which has the option of a 5cm (2”) taller backrest height) is not an option as it will not fit onto his 36cm (14”) wide chair.

So what are the options?

Option 1

Move the backrest vertically upwards which can be done in two ways:

  • Moving the JAY J3 backrest mounting clamps (which connect to the back posts) or alternatively;
  • Move the backrest shell itself upwards by losing the bolts that connect it to the mounting bracketry.

Option 2

Request a custom-made J3 Shoulder High, Mid Contour backrest made 8cm (3”) longer on the bottom section and upholstered to match.

This request would need to be investigated and processed by your JAY Product Specialist, who would liaise directly with our JAY manufacturing plant in Tijuana, Mexico.


When fitting solid or manufactured backrests, I recommend leaving a 5-8cm (2-3”) gap between the top of the cushion and the bottom edge of the backrest.

This allows the soft tissue of the buttocks to be accommodated and prevents rearward tilting of the pelvis which leads to a flattened lumbar curve and increased thoracic curve. In a nutshell, resulting in a ‘C’ shaped kyphotic posture.

The gap can then be bridged using the JAY J3 ‘Accessory bag’ (which attaches to the bottom of the backrest and the top of the seat canvas) to maintain both dignity and comfort against draughts.

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