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What is a Lycraorthosis?

A Lycra orthosis comes in the form of gloves, socks, shorts, leggings or a suit. They are made to measure and are worn by children to improve function and stability. They are made from a Lycra based fabric which is very close fitting to improve movement control and the individual?s awareness of the position of the body. At, our neurological physiotherapists are trained in the expert assessment, measurement and fitting of Lycra orthoses in order to improve your child?s postural stability and quality of life.

Mobility and co-ordination exercises supervised by a neurological physiotherapistAbove: Mobility and co-ordination exercises supervised by a neurological physiotherapist

Treatment with a Lycra orthosis

Any child who has difficulty controlling the position of their body and limbs benefits from a Lycra orthosis. For example, children with cerebral palsy often benefit from a Lycra orthosis because they may have difficulty holding the head up to look at surroundings or problems sitting up due to postural instability. A Lycra suit can help your child comfortably sit up and look up, increasing participation in play and social activities. Your child may have problems moving around, rolling, crawling or walking. Again, a Lycra suit can provide physical support and stability to facilitate increased active movement and function. Each Lycra suit is made specifically for an individual child and extra panels can be sewn into the fabric to increase or decrease muscle tone depending on your child’s symptoms. Lycra gloves are used to position a hand for weight-bearing or to steady a shaking hand in order to eat or write.

Physiotherapy and Lycra orthoses

Lycra orthoses are a useful and effective treatment modality used by physiotherapists. They do not replace the need for physiotherapy but they do enable greater functional movement. Your physiotherapist will assess your child to determine if they are suitable for a Lycra orthosis. This assessment will involve measuring range of movement, muscle strength, muscle tone, co-ordination, sensation and proprioception. Your child will be observed carrying out a variety of functional activities such as sitting, rolling, crawling, standing and walking on order to identify problems, needs and goals of therapy. If your child is suitable for a Lycra orthosis, the target body part will be measured in great detail to ensure accurate and comfortable fit of the orthosis. Your physiotherapist will advise on time scales your child should wear the splint and activities to carry out whilst wearing the orthosis.

If your child is a suitable candidate for the provision of a Lycra orthosis and wears it regularly there are substantial physical benefits:
  • Improved postural stability
  • Improved co-ordination
  • Improved position of the limb during functional activity
  • Increased ability and confidence to carry out dynamic functional activities
  • Decreased involuntary movements
  • Decreased pain
  • Decreased associated reactions
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Decreased tremor
Your physiotherapist will provide a home exercise program you to complete with your child at home. This may include a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises in order to improve postural control and functional movement patterns. With adherence to the home exercise program, physiotherapy sessions and wearing the Lycra orthosis, your child will make significant changes to increase independence and quality of life.

Why for Lycra orthoses?

At, we have specialist neurological physiotherapists that are specifically trained in the assessment procedure, measurement and fitting of Lycra orthoses. We understand that you and your child would like the highest possible level of function, ability and mobility. Lycra orthoses are an evidence based treatment modality that has been proven to improve postural stability and function.
  • Treatment at any stage of your child’s condition
  • Specialist neurological assessment of suitability for Lycra orthosis
  • Made to measure Lycra orthosis
  • Practice of functional activities
  • Monitoring of comfort and pressure areas whilst wearing Lycra orthosis
  • Provision of home exercise program
  • Treatment at home or in the clinic
  • Flexible appointment times
  • Access to orthotist
Physiotherapy and a lycra assessment service can be provided at your home or in one of our clinic locations. Lycra orthoses can significantly improve your child’s ability to move around, interact and enjoy family life. To book an appointment or to discuss the benefits of a Lycra orthosis for your child, please contact us now on 0330 088 7800.

You can also use our online booking system to make an appointment with us today!

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