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Does the Application of a Lycra Arm Sleeve Change Shoulder Biomechanics in Young Healthy People? A Mechanistic Study

Kumar, Praveen; Desai, Ashni; Elliot, Lottie


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Dr Praveen Kumar
Associate Professor in Stroke Rehabilitation

Ashni Desai

Lottie Elliot


© Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Introduction Glenohumeral subluxation (GHS) is commonly reported in people with stroke. Lycra sleeves provide a compressive and supportive effect, influencing the neuromuscular activity in the affected body segment. A recent study reported reduction in GHS (acromion-greater tuberosity [AGT] distance) after application of Lycra arm sleeve; however, its mechanism on the shoulder region as a whole is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate if application of a Lycra sleeve changes the AGT distance, muscle activity around the shoulder region, and scapular position. Methods Healthy participants aged older than 18 years were recruited. Measurements were taken before and immediately after application of the sleeve. Portable diagnostic ultrasound, surface 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 Thirty-one participants (11 men, 20 women) with mean age 25 ± 10 years participated. Paired test showed significant mean reduction of 0.12 cm (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07-0.16 cm) in AGT distance measurements (t = 5.112, df = 30, P = 0.003) and scapula measurements (0.3 cm; 95% CI, 0.04-0.4 cm; t = 2.501; df = 30, P < 0.01) when compared without and with sleeve application. Conclusions Future research should investigate the effects of the Lycra sleeve on people with GHS in the different phases of rehabilitation.


Kumar, P., Desai, A., & Elliot, L. (2020). Does the Application of a Lycra Arm Sleeve Change Shoulder Biomechanics in Young Healthy People? A Mechanistic Study. Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics, 32(1), 32-37.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 24, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 13, 2019
Publication Date Jan 1, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 12, 2018
Publicly Available Date Mar 14, 2020
Journal Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics
Print ISSN 1040-8800
Publisher Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 32
Issue 1
Pages 32-37
Keywords lycra sleeve, Acromion-greater tuberosity distance, muscle activity, shoulder girdle, Glenohumeral Subluxation
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Additional Information Additional Information : This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published version is available here:


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