RAG rating
Document type
Clinical policy
Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB
Output type
Clinical Policies & Evidence-based Interventions

Lycra Dynamic Splinting for Children with Neurological Impairment

July 2022 v1.0

Requests for funding should only be considered on an individual patient basis by exceptional treatment panels. The referral needs to come from a local lead specialist physiotherapist or occupational therapist. The expected benefits for that patient over other treatments must be clearly quantified. Provision of subsequent garments will depend on clear demonstration of benefit for the individual patient.


Lycra splints are made-to-measure and range from hand splints to full body garments. The closeness and tightness of the splint fitting increases proprioception and helps to increase spatial awareness. In turn, this aids the reduction of any excessive tone and relaxes the patient with possible improvements in posture and gait. 

Expert opinion suggests that younger children with athetoid disorders, those with quadriplegic palsy and those with neuromuscular disorders benefit the most. 

Dynamic lycra splinting is not suitable for clients who have fixed deformities of a bony nature which are not amenable to change.

Compliance has a significant role to play in determining outcome, as it does for all therapy and medical interventions. The client and family or carers, who may be assisting them to apply the splints, are made fully aware of the commitment required to ensure success. 

Lycra garments range in price depending on the type of garment used. These splints have a life of 12 months if they are maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

There are currently no NICE guidelines on the use of Lycra dynamic splinting. Very few studies have been published to assess the effectiveness and no studies have investigated the benefit of continuation in the long term. It is not very clear as to what extra benefit it provides to the patient as compared to the other treatment options. Also, it has not been fully evaluated, nor is it clear whether there are patient groups or specific disabilities that may significantly benefit more than others.