Lycra garments- what are they and how can they help in Neuro-rehab?
Lycra garments can come in the form of a glove, an arm sleeve to a full body suit. Historically Lycra garments have been used widely with children who have conditions such as Cerebral Palsy. Lycra splints and garments are being recommended more readily now for conditions such as spastic limbs, movement disorders, sensory disorders and postural instability.
In some conditions Lycra can be very beneficial for improving stability and positioning of limbs and joints. Lycra garments provide dynamic compression to increase sensory and proprioceptive feedback as well as provide musculoskeletal support.
The Lycra garments are thought to work by stimulating the somatosensory and musculo-skeletal systems which give changes in tone and postural alignment. This then gives opportunity to the body and its muscles to learn movement and improve posture.
There is limited research completed to date with using lycra garments / splints for neurological conditions, however there are many clinical observations beginning to be reported and case study examples which show significant improvements in posture and function.
Although Lycra garments are not used as widely as static thermoplastic splints and can be more costly, with certain clients at OT Partners we have seen the benefits of wearing Lycra. This has ranged from improved postural control for walking to dampening down upper limb tone and flexion to improve arm position.
If you wish to discuss Lycra garments further please feel free to contact us at OT Partners.