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Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1997 Oct;78(10):1066-71.

Lycra garments designed for patients with upper limb spasticity: mechanical effects in normal subjects.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Sydney, Australia.



To assess the stretch of pronator muscles produced by a specifically designed upper-limb Lycra garment that could have a better acceptability than rigid splints in treating upper-limb spasticity.


Double-blind comparison among three garments. They were designed to produce a supinating, a pronating, and no torsional force, and were individually manufactured and tested in 10 healthy volunteers.


Angular position and passive rotational stiffness of the forearm were measured with and without each of the garments immediately after the garment was fitted and every hour for 6 hours.


When put on by a trained person, the supinator garment supinated the forearm in all subjects (mean, 17 degrees; p < .01; range, 5 degrees to 44 degrees) while the pronator garment pronated the forearm in 8 of 10 subjects (mean, 5 degrees; p < .01). These effects gradually decayed over 6 hours, as garment position was not readjusted. Passive rotational stiffness of the forearm increased by about 30% with each type of garment. The garments designed to produce no torsional force exerted no intrinsic rotational effect.


Individually made Lycra garments can produce continuous stretch of muscles for several hours and may be useful in the treatment of spasticity. The garments, however, must be put on by a trained person and their position adjusted when necessary.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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