Monday, September 17, 2012

Bamboo Brace

Have you heard of the Bamboo Brace? I hadn't either until I was contacted by Michael Workman, PT, C/NDT, creator of the Bamboo Brace. In his work as a pediatric physical therapist, Michael saw a need for a dynamic elbow splint for children with hemiplegia, so he designed one himself!

What is the Bamboo Brace?

The Bamboo Brace is a flexible pediatric arm brace that is placed around the elbow joint for children with cerebral palsy and other developmental challenges. The Bamboo Brace assists children in maintaining a more extended position at the elbow, so both gross and fine motor skills are easier to perform. The Bamboo Brace is made out of neoprene and has five flexible and interchangeable stays, as seen below. These flexible stays make this a dynamic splint rather than a static splint, which allows gross motor movement while still allowing fine motor play.

How is it used?

The Bamboo Brace is recommended for use with children with an elbow flexion pattern that is slowing development, children who are unable to bear weight through their arms or support themselves for crawling, and children who present with spontaneous hand movements and hand mouthing.

As recommended by Michael Workman, I started out using the #3 insert when working with children and then adjusted from there as needed (the higher the number, the more rigid the plastic). The flexible insert easily slides into the brace (as seen below). The insert does tuck into the fabric completely - I just left it partially out in the photo to demonstrate how it is inserted. The inside of the brace has three non-slip dots to help hold the brace in place against the child's arm. The brace simply Velcros around the child's arm and you're ready to go!

I used The Bamboo Brace bilaterally to assist with weight bearing in infants and I found the brace to be very helpful when using it in this way. It allowed the child to develop more shoulder strength while being supported at the elbow. It was also easier for me as the therapist to position the child, because sometimes I feel like I need eight hands! The Bamboo Brace was also less bulky than other similar splints on the market.

I also used The Bamboo Brace with a child with hemiplegia, as seen below. The brace positioned the child's arm in an extended pattern, which allowed for weightbearing through the more affected arm. Typically this child was resistant to bearing weight through that arm and would only use the affected arm for functional activities if strongly encouraged to do so. I found the brace to be effective for both bilateral and unilateral activities, depending on the needs of the child.

For the most part, I found that children were willing to wear The Bamboo Brace and did not appear to be uncomfortable when wearing it. I have not yet used it for children who frequently mouth their hands or engage in self-injurious behaviors (e.g. hitting self), but it seems that it could be useful in those situations as well.

Product Details:

The Bamboo Brace
Available in three sizes: Infant/Toddler (under 18 months), Preschool (18 months to 4 years, Early Grade School (5 years to 9 years)
Price: $60 for Infant/Toddler and Preschool; $69 for Early Grade School; Discounted price when purchasing two braces at the same time. Click here for purchasing information

For more information:

Visit Professional Therapies at
Follow The Bamboo Brace on Facebook at (When The Bamboo Brace reaches 2,012 fans, Professional Therapies will donate $5,000 worth of Bamboo Braces to therapy clinics across the country. Go give them a thumbs up and let's make this happen!)
To purchase The Bamboo Brace, click here or you can purchase it on Amazon

Disclosure: I received demos of the Bamboo Brace free of charge. However, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Has anyone else used The Bamboo Brace? I would love to hear about your experience!

1 comment:

  1. This brace looks very useful! I like how you said sometimes you feel like you need eight hands! I feel like that all the time and was hoping that it would go away and I would one day have perfect control of all the children I work with... is that wishful thinking? :-)


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