Upper limb management service

What is the upper limb management service?

The upper limb management clinic aims to optimize upper limb (arm and hand) function and sensory processing skills in children and young people with a range of conditions. We may also try to assit with postural difficulties and shoulder stability. The clinic is run once a month by specialist therapists.

The service therapists will discuss the concerns identified by the child or young person and their family and by the allocated therapists, and advise on management of these concerns. Assessment of the child or young person’s functional abilities will take place through standardised assessments or observations in the clinic or other relevant places (school, home etc.).

Discussion of the treatment approaches available then takes place. These might include issuing neoprene orthotics, splints or Lycra garments, referral to other services or clinics, specific exercises/stretches or other types of management.

Advice related to the orthotic/garment issued will be given, which will include the wearing regime, how to clean it, additional activities, etc. Functional aims will be agreed with the family and child/young person when issuing a new garment.

If Lycra garments are issued, clients will be reviewed at six months and twelve months at the clinic, using appropriate assessments and observations. After a year of wearing the Lycra garment continuously, the child will take a three month break without Lycra, and they then will be reviewed again to determine if there is a change in function without the Lycra and whether further Lycra will be indicated.

If the client is issued with a Lycra or neoprene garment, the local therapist will monitor progress and appropriate activities throughout the entire Lycra period. Follow up of the functional targets set in the clinic will also be considered in every case, if indicated.

Who can be referred to this service?

Children and young people that live in Camden and are aged between 0-19 who:

  • Have mild/moderate difficulties using their hands for functional activities due to neurological, congenital or orthopaedic reasons, and/or
  • Have sensory processing needs and
  • Are already known to their local occupational therapy or physiotherapy services.