Through the dynamic realignment of the elbow, The Bamboo Brace actually helps produce excellent functional gains at the shoulder and core muscles . Spastic elbow patterns do not just prevent the elbow from functioning; they also shut down the independent motor control at the shoulder and the trunk as well as the wrist and hand.
Neurodevelopmentally its is more functionally beneficial for all of the joints in our bodies to be able to move either independently or in unison (synergy) with each other depending on what we are trying to accomplish. This is how the functional movement that we often take for granted is so easily achieved such as eating a sandwich or throwing a ball. However in many of our children they cannot move the elbow independently of the shoulder or the shoulder independently of the core.
By choosing to brace and realign at the elbow we help create the ability for the children to begin learning to move the shoulder without as much elbow interference and with this newfound freedom the dissociated movement continues between the shoulder and the trunk and so forth. We simply choose the elbow because it is the easiest joint with which to begin.
Initially when we dynamically brace at the elbow we will unmask a great deal of shoulder weakness because the shoulder is not accustomed to working without the elbow tagging along. With this in mind it is often helpful to support the arms (not overworking the shoulder against gravity) by playing or practicing seated at a table or highchair in smaller children. This horizontal type play (we call abduction and adduction of the shoulder) along the top side of a surface while braced, allows the shoulder to begin to gain strength in a side-to-side fashion before we place the requirements to lift it against gravity and play horizontally at the same time. As the shoulder becomes stronger the children will then be able to use the Bamboo Braces in many different and varied positions and can wear them for longer periods during the day.