What is The Bamboo Brace?
The Bamboo Brace is a pediatric elbow brace that assists children in maintaining a more extended position at the elbow during activities so that both gross and fine motor skills are easier to perform, learn, and repeat. Although it controls the amount of bending at the elbow joint it also allows for some flexibility with its unique design (see FAQ #9 “What is Dynamic Elbow Bracing?”)
Depending on the size ordered, each Bamboo Brace contains 5 flexible and interchangeable support stays. You choose which stay to use depending on the desired resistance. The Bamboo Brace is available in 5 sizes accommodating children from as young as 2-3 months through adulthood.
Is The Bamboo Brace sold or distributed in any other countries?
Yes! The following countries can checkout directly on our site:
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Ireland
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
We also have relationships with a number of international distributors who you can purchase braces from locally:
Remington Medical (Canada): https://www.remingtonmedical.com/product-category/pediatrics/the-bamboo-brace/
Representative: Kyle Lee OT firstname.lastname@example.org
Milestones Therapy (Australia): http://www.milestonestherapy.com.au/the-bamboo-brace/
Representative: Erikka Hall OT email@example.com
Scott Medical (United Kingdom): http://www.scottmedical.com/
Representative: John Scott firstname.lastname@example.org
Bumble Bee Physio (United Kingdom) https://bumblebeephysio.co.uk/
Representative: Hannah Stephenson Clarke email@example.com
Kinder Physiotherapie (Switzerland): http://kinder-physiotherapie.ch/
Representative: Barbara Graf firstname.lastname@example.org
Enatech Hub (Singapore): https://enatechhub.com/
Representative: Ash Preston email@example.com
If you do not see your country listed, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org where we can calculate your shipping cost and prepare an invoice for you to pay by credit card.
How do I know which size brace to order?
Please see our detailed sizing guide here.
How is this brace different than others on the market?
There are many different options for elbow braces on the market, but there are none quite like The Bamboo Brace. One might look at The Bamboo Brace and think it is an elbow immobilizer, and while that is certainly one thing that it can do, it is not the primary function of the Brace. The Bamboo Brace comes with five interchangeable plastic supports which we call “stays”. Each stay varies in flexibility, the number one being most flexible and the number five being most stiff, meaning as a therapist or caregiver you can choose how much flexibility the patient or loved one needs to achieve the desired result. Our primary objective when creating the brace was to give the user as much bend and function at the elbow as possible, while still giving them extension when not in use. When compared to other braces on the market, The Bamboo Brace fits snugly under clothing, does not slip around the arm, can be worn as your child grows, and are much more cost effective when compared to custom orthotics.
How do I put The Bamboo Brace on my child?
See our instructional video here
Who can benefit from The Bamboo Brace?
- Any child who has a predominant flexion (bending) pattern at the elbow that is slowing motor development.
- Any child who is unable to bear weight through their arms or support themselves for crawling and other developmental motor activities.
- Any child with a progressive neurodegenerative disease.
- Any child who presents with spontaneous hand movements or incessant hand mouthing.
- Any child who has recently had surgery on the head, neck and face to keep them from removing sutures or bandages and damaging the surgical site. (See FAQ #8 “What are some other popular uses of The Bamboo Brace other than helping children learn motor skills?”
A list of some common diagnoses and conditions for which The Bamboo Brace is helpful:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Rett Syndrome
- Developmental Delay
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Low muscle tone
- Autism and Pervasive Development Disorder
- Down Syndrome
- Prader-Willi Syndrome
- Post-surgical patients: cleft palate, plastics, ear/nose/throat, and dental
- Sensory Processing Disorder
- Brachial Plexus Injury
How The Bamboo Brace aids in learning motor skills?
With cases of flexor spasticity (bending) at the elbow, The Bamboo Brace allows children to learn how use the separate joints of the arm and trunk individually without as much interference from unhelpful elbow patterns. As children learn to control each joint separately their freedom of motion, strength, and function improves as well as their ability to bear weight through their arm(s). This makes activities like rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, and walking more possible.
In children with low muscle tone, decreased strength or the inability to bear weight through their upper extremities on their own, The Bamboo Brace helps to provide the stability at the elbow joint. This stability is essential in weight bearing and the development of gross and fine motor skills as listed above.
What is Dynamic Elbow Bracing?
Dynamic elbow bracing is the motor therapy technique of placing a stiff, yet flexible enough brace on the arm to help improve elbow angles so that children with disabilities have an easier time learning and reaching motor milestones. In our treatment experience dynamic elbow bracing means that the brace is helping the elbow move in and out of positions along with the child being active in the process. If the movement process is active and dynamic this means the combination of the child and the brace working together produce functional results that matter.
It may sound obvious, but the key is making sure the brace is ‘dynamic’ meaning that it can flex and bend to some degree and can be adjusted to the needs of the child. The opposite of course is a “static” brace that is placed around the elbow joint in a fully extended position and prevents any kind of movement or natural bending of the elbow. Static braces might help align the elbow for motor skill development, but they do not allow the child to repeat the necessary joint movement and muscle contractions to actually learn the movement.
What are some “motor skills” my child can improve on by using The Bamboo Brace?
- Rolling (stomach to back and back to stomach)
- Sitting using the more extended arm(s) as needed to help prop and bear weight for play, eating and daily skills
- Two handed play and assisted play
- Hands and knees, crawling and kneeling
- Transitioning to ½ kneeling and standing (pulling up at furniture and stair climbing)
- Cruising (sideways walking) along furniture and household objects
- Hand-held walking and using assistive devices such as walkers and push toys
- Independent walking (will free up core muscles for rotation, balance and protective reactions)
- Assistive climbing for accessing park and playground equipment
- Bike riding, racquet sports and other age appropriate play that requires two hands out front
Should The Bamboo Brace be worn over clothing or directly on the skin?
Although The Bamboo Brace can be worn over clothing, the non-slip surface on the inside of the brace is more effective when it is in direct contact with the child’s skin.
How tight should The Bamboo Brace be worn?
Once the stay area is in place wrap the brace around the arm and Velcro securely. The Bamboo Brace should be snug enough not slip up and down the arm but should not be so tight that circulation is impaired and there are color changes evident in the hand and fingers. Gaps should be minimal at the top and bottom ends by feeding through the excess material before adhering the Velcro.
Can The Bamboo Brace be used on both arms at the same time?
Yes. The Bamboo Brace is used both unilaterally (1 arm) and bilaterally (2 arms) and usually depends on the specific diagnosis and situation of each child.
Children with spastic diplegia and quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy often use one Bamboo Brace on each arm during treatment and for periods during the day when they are working on motor skills that require the elbows to be more extended.
It is also common for children who have lower muscle tone, muscle weakness and instability such as those with Down syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder and other genetic and metabolic diagnoses to use The Bamboo Brace on both arms at the same time.
The Bamboo Brace is also often used on both sides when children are healing from head, neck, facial and dental surgery or self-stimulate orally such as with Rett Syndrome.
How do the flexible stays work and which should I start with?
The higher the number the more rigid the stay. We recommend starting with stay #3 and adjusting the flexibility of the brace as needed. Once in place begin monitoring your stay selection for effectiveness. It is recommended that the brace be stiff enough as to straighten the elbow toward more extension, however flexible enough so that the child can overcome it as needed to use for fine motor play and daily skills. The goal is to prevent dominant flexion patterns at the elbow of 70-90 degrees or more and instead restore a more relaxed position of about 15-30 degrees of elbow flexion during motor activities.
Can I use multiple stays in The Bamboo Brace at the same time?
Yes. The channel where the stay is located is designed to be able to fit multiple stays if your child’s situation calls for it. We generally recommend that you keep the brace more dynamic and flexible as opposed to more rigid, however, sometimes the combination of more than one stay works excellent.
Can I use The Bamboo Brace without a stay?
Absolutely! Sometimes just the material of the brace can prevent unhelpful elbow flexion. In children with more mild forms of cerebral palsy and many children with genetic and sensory diagnoses that have low muscle tone without spasticity you may be able to progress to not wearing a stay in The Bamboo Brace. As always, the general guideline is to keep children from flexing the elbow more than about 70 degrees while in weight bearing positions.
How do I wash and care for The Bamboo Brace?
Do not machine wash or machine dry The Bamboo Brace. We recommend that you hand wash your Bamboo Brace with the stay removed in warm water and mild soap. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. After washing, The Bamboo Brace should be left to air dry and should not be worn until it is completely dry.
Does The Bamboo Brace contain latex, phthalates or lead?
No. The Bamboo Brace is FDA approved and complies with the Consumer Product Safety Information Act (CPSIA) of 2008. The Bamboo Brace is BPA-free, lead-free, and phthalate-free.
What is your return policy for The Bamboo Brace?
You may return or exchange your Bamboo Brace within 30 days for any reason. We do not refund shipping charges.