New Size of ‘The Bamboo Brace’ Supports Early Grade-School-Aged Children with Special Needs

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In response to demand from other physical therapists, Michael J. Workman PT and his wife Sue Workman PT MA created a new size of the 'The Bamboo Brace' for grade-school-aged children. The new size benefits older children with cerebral palsy and developmental delays as they work to develop and refine motor skills and improve mobility.

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...we received many requests from therapists for an additional larger size and recognized that early grade-school-age patients and older patients with smaller bodies could also use The Bamboo Brace to reach their full functional potential.

The Bamboo Brace, a relatively new type of elbow brace, has changed the lives of toddlers and preschoolers both nationally and internationally, challenged with cerebral palsy and other developmental delays since its launch in May 2010. Now, a new ‘Early Grade School’ size, developed by the elbow brace’s inventors Michael J. Workman PT and his wife Sue Workman PT MA, allows the brace to provide support and flexibility to older children with special needs.

As physical therapists whose practice is dedicated largely to children with special needs such as cerebral palsy, the couple invented the initial ‘Small/Baby’ and ‘Preschool’ sizes of The Bamboo Brace to benefit their patient’s therapy sessions. By providing support at the elbow, The Bamboo Brace reduces the joint’s interference as a child learns to crawl, walk and perform other essential motor-skill activities, without having to rely only on manual support from a therapist. They realized though, shortly after launching the brace’s first two sizes, that grade-school-aged children could also greatly benefit from the brace’s support as they continue to develop and refine motor skills and improve mobility.

“After developing the initial two sizes, we received many requests from therapists for an additional larger size and recognized that early grade-school-age patients and older patients with smaller bodies could also use The Bamboo Brace to reach their full functional potential. We just needed to develop a new size for them. Although other types of braces exist on the market, most are either costly, bulky or simply 'lock' the user’s elbow in place without allowing for any movement,” said Michael J.Workman. “To provide kids with something dynamic in nature, cost-effective and versatile, we knew we would have to create something of our own.”

Workman tried various types of elbow splints to aid him in therapy without success. He and Sue started with certain criteria in mind and many prototypes and revisions later, they chose specific plastics, silicone and neoprene to craft their FDA approved The Bamboo Brace.

The Bamboo Brace is designed to provide support for children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, stroke, TBI, Brachial Plexus trauma, PPD, autism, various other genetic/metabolic conditions such as Down syndrome and Prader-Willi Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and post-surgical patients such as in cleft-palate repair. The brace is designed to wrap snugly around the child’s elbow joint with interior support provided by one of five interchangeable plastic stays of varying flexibility. The stays can be easily adjusted by therapists or parents to provide more or less stability from the brace. The Bamboo Brace works by helping to isolate the elbow, which minimizes the joint’s interference while the user performs activities that help to develop motor control of the trunk, shoulder, wrist and hand.

Currently available in three sizes (Small/Baby, Preschool for $60 MSRP and Early Grade School for $69 MSRP) The Bamboo Brace fits users from infancy through approximately 10 years-old, based on an individual’s size. It is individually handcrafted in the United States with the utmost concern for quality craftsmanship. The Bamboo Brace is FDA approved, fully compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Information Act of 2008 and is free of BPA, lead and phthalates. For more information or to purchase The Bamboo Brace go to http://www.TheBambooBrace.com or Like The Bamboo Brace on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/TheBambooBrace.

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Melinda Meier
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