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Thermoplastic splinting maintains range of movement by holding the joint in a position of stretch for a prolonged period of time. As a result of wearing the thermoplastic splint for several hours, the properties of the muscle change and adapt to their new position. The prolonged stretch provided by the splint increases muscle fibre and tension length via an increase in serial sarcomeres in the muscle tissue. Sarcomeres are the basic unit of a muscle that contract and relax to enable movement of the limb. The muscle tissue unfolds and there is realignment of collagen fibres within the connective tissue which stimulates growth of muscle. It is important that the stretch is maintained by the splint regularly as the muscle will re-shorten unless the stretch is maintained.

Practicing fuctional transfers to a bed with close supervision from a neurological physiotherapistAbove: Practicing fuctional transfers to a bed with close supervision from a neurological physiotherapist

Thermoplastic splinting will help to prevent muscle shortening and contractures. It is very important to prevent muscle shortening and contractures as the limbs can become very tight and make it difficult to get washed and dressed.

Your physiotherapist will advise you whether to wear your splint during the day or night and will teach you a range of stretches to do at home. It is important that individuals remove the splint regularly to carry out exercises and that you apply the splint as advised by the physiotherapist.

If you would like more information about how thermoplastic splinting works, please follow the links below or call today on 0330 088 7800, to book an appointment or to speak to a neurological physiotherapist. You can also book appointments online using our online booking system

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