Turn Therapy Theory Part 1 – Body Mechanics of Turning

Bedside Ergonomics- Elements of the 30 degree Turn Position

To determine how to best support a person at a 30 degree turn, the basic principles of ergonomics must be considered. When a support device is formed to accommodate the natural body mechanics of a bedbound person, it serves to support that person in comfortable, ergonomically sustained position.

1st principle of bedside ergonomics relative to 30 degree lateral turn position:

A. When a person is turning from supine position to lateral position, there is flexion of the hips and knees that cause an outward rotation of the back.

B. In order for a support device to be stable, it must be able to distribute support pressure and accommodate the outward curvatures with minimal or no contact to bony prominences.

In a supine position, there is no knee flexion and hip rotation (unless intentional and fully supported).

As a person rotates to a lateral side, he/she must flex the knees and rotate the pelvis. The greater the degree of turn, the greater the flexion and rotation will be necessary for comfort Knee flexion and pelvic rotation cause an outward a curvature of the spine. The normal kyphotic curvatures are enhanced, and lordotic curvactures flatten, causing the sacrum to “protrude”.