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Does the application of a Lycra arm sleeve change shoulder biomechanics in people with stroke? - A preliminary study

Kumar, Praveen



Introduction Glenohumeral subluxation (GHS) is reported in up to 81% of patients with stroke. Our previous studies found that a Lycra sleeve can reduce acromion-greater tuberosity (AGT) distance (used for assessment of GHS) in people with chronic stroke (n = 5). In a recent study on able-bodied people (n = 31), we report reduction in AGT, change in scapula measurements, and change in muscle activity after the application of Lycra sleeve. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Lycra sleeves on the AGT distance, muscle activity around the shoulder region, and scapular position in people with stroke. Method People with stroke who gave informed consent were recruited. Measurements were taken before and immediately after application of the sleeve. Portable diagnostic ultrasound, electromyography, and a tape measure were used to measure AGT distance, muscle activity (biceps, triceps, deltoid, and supraspinatus), and position of the scapula, respectively. Results Six participants with a mean age of 53 ± 8 years were recruited. There was a mean reduction of 0.13 cm (95% confidence interval, -0.01 to 0.28 cm) in AGT distance measurements but this was not statistically significant (t = 3.503, df = 5, P =.062). The inferior scapula measurements showed a mean reduction of 1 cm (95% confidence interval, 0.07-1.92 cm) and this was statistically significant (t = 2.781; df = 5, P =.039) when compared without and with sleeve application. Conclusions The application of Lycra arm sleeves did not significantly reduce the AGT distance but altered scapula mechanics by putting it in a mechanically advantaged position in a small sample of people with chronic stroke. A properly designed definitive trial would be required to confirm the effectiveness of the Lycra sleeve in reducing GHS in people with both acute and chronic stroke. Clinical Relevance Lycra sleeve may have potential to alter biomechanics and influence neuromuscular activity in the arm.


Kumar, P. (2022). Does the application of a Lycra arm sleeve change shoulder biomechanics in people with stroke? - A preliminary study. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 34(2), 116-121.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 27, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 29, 2021
Publication Date Apr 1, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 25, 2020
Journal Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Print ISSN 1040-8800
Publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 2
Pages 116-121
Keywords Lycra sleeve, Acromion-greater tuberosity distance, muscle activity, shoulder girdle, Glenohumeral Subluxation, Stroke
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