42 minutes | May 17, 2022

Should Gymnasts Wear A Brace for Back Pain?

Today on the podcast, I'm very excited to bring to you a presentation from one of my recent students, Alea Penner, a former gymnast who has just graduated from Duke Physical Therapy School.


She did a phenomenal, inservice lecture on bracing gymnasts with back-related injuries. 


“Discussing bracing treatment for spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis in athletes. Summarizing the current available research that supports or contradicts current treatment standards and discuss topics of future research that are demanded by lack of current literature.”


The use of braces is controversial, so it's really important for us to understand the current research on bracing.


Alea wonderfully took on the big task of reviewing the literature and doing an inservice on bracing versus not bracing. 


She discusses:


Does bracing limit gross motion and/or spinal segmental motion during ADL’s (activities of daily living) or sport-specific activity?


Does bracing lead to decreased strength and/or changes in posture/gait with prolonged use?


Does limited motion prevent the progression of a fracture or slippage? 


Does bracing improved bone union? And is bony union predictive of a better return to sports outcomes and subjective pain?

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