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Bamboo Brace Tip: "Keep it flexible"

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“Should I keep my child’s Bamboo Brace more rigid or more flexible?”

The fast answer is, “It depends on what you’re trying to achieve” To assist with gross and fine motor development then more flexible bracing is better than rigid, no question. If you are using The Bamboo Brace to keep your child’s hands from their mouth, then a bit more rigid is helpful but still as flexible as possible to give them good use of their hands even though they can’t quite bring them to mouth.

For motor development:

In early days of brace development (10-12 years ago) I kept many of the prototypes more rigid by using stay materials such as aluminum. The children performed well, but only in a couple of developmental positions such as hands/knees and standing.

The real challenge was to be able to use an effective dynamic elbow brace in other positions that are in-between the floor to hands/knees and hands/knees to standing. The solution as I discovered during many hours of treatment is to keep the brace much more flexible than you might think. When the elbow is flexed about 20-30 degrees the tricep muscles are at an excellent angle to gain strength and many times will lead to wearing the brace less as motor control, coordination and strength improve at the individual joints of the upper extremity.

Having the brace too rigid does not allow the children to strengthen the muscles of the arm that they need in order to push their bodies upward against gravity. The constant bending and straightening of the elbow during developmental movement and play with the assistance of The Bamboo Brace allows the exact strengthening and motor control to develop that I have found most beneficial in helping children learn to move themselves from the floor to from middle positions such as sitting/kneeling and then up ward to standing and walking.

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