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Leg shrinkers are therapeutic aids designed to help improve mobility and reduce leg pain. Whether your child is born with a condition or has suffered an injury, a leg shrinker can enhance their quality of life.

Living with limited mobility can be difficult for children, affecting their day-to-day activities, lifestyle, and overall well-being. Fortunately, leg shrinkers can provide support to help them move more freely with less pain.

When used correctly, leg shrinkers can tremendously impact restoring mobility and improving quality of life. Read on to learn more about this helpful tool, how it works, and what benefits it can provide to your child.

What’s a Leg Shrinker?

A leg shrinker is a medical device designed to help children with leg length discrepancy (LLD). It consists of two straps placed around the thighs and can be adjusted for different compression levels.
The device’s purpose is to stretch the longer leg and relieve pain or discomfort. The pressure applied to the strap causes the soft tissue to contract and shrink, making the leg shorter.

The compression level can be altered to meet the specific needs of each patient. It’s important to keep in mind that a leg shrinker should only be used under a doctor’s supervision.

Benefits of Using a Leg Shrinker

Using a leg shrinker can provide numerous benefits for children with mobility issues. Here are four major advantages to consider when looking into this therapeutic aid.

1. Improved Stability

Leg shrinkers can help improve overall stability and reduce the risk of falls. The device applies even pressure around the legs, making it easier for children to stand upright and move without worrying about slipping or losing balance. 

The even pressure of the leg shrinker also helps balance out discrepancies between the legs and reduces pain in areas with tightness or tenderness. 

2. Increased Mobility

The adjustable pressure of the leg shrinker helps reduce muscle pain and tension, allowing for improved mobility. Children can move around more easily with greater flexibility and range of motion.

For children with congenital conditions, using a leg shrinker can help improve the alignment of their legs and reduce pain associated with walking. The device helps stretch the longer leg and reduce asymmetry, allowing for more comfortable movement.

Using a leg shrinker can also help improve coordination and gait patterns. The improved alignment of the legs can reduce fatigue and make it easier to walk or move with more ease.

3. Enhanced Comfort

Comfort is often a major concern when it comes to mobility devices. Leg shrinkers are designed to be comfortable and adjustable, allowing for a custom fit specific to each person’s needs.

The device is lightweight, breathable, and adjustable for different compression levels. The straps are made from a durable, gentle material on the skin and won’t cause irritation or discomfort.

4. Better Posture

Having better posture can significantly improve one’s health and wellbeing in general. With the help of a leg shrinker, children can improve their posture by reducing asymmetry in the legs.

The device can help straighten the spine and distribute weight evenly, allowing for better posture. This will help with breathing, coordination, and balance. By improving posture, children can move freely and comfortably.

Who Can Benefit From a Leg Shrinker?

The use of a leg shrinker can be beneficial for kids with cerebral palsy or other neuromuscular disorders. It provides the support needed to help maintain proper positioning for the lower limbs, helping prevent muscle contractures and encourage healthy movement.

If your child has difficulty staying in one position and finds it difficult to remain standing, they may benefit from a leg shrinker. 

Additionally, suppose your child has already experienced joint contractures due to muscle spasticity or stiffness. In that case, the leg shrinker can help reduce the impact of those contractures by providing support and relieving pressure on those joints.

Finally, new amputees may find that a leg shrinker can help them transition to using prosthetics. The leg shrinker can help the amputee learn how to stand and walk again and provide support for the remaining leg.

Types of Leg Shrinkers  

Leg shrinkers come in various sizes and styles, so it’s important to know what type of leg shrinker is best for your child. Leg shrinkers come in three primary categories, depending on the user’s requirements:

1. Above Knee

Just above the knee, the leg shrinker fits tightly around the leg. Its adjustable straps help provide even pressure to the area, helping to reduce pain and tension.

2. Below Knee

It wraps around the leg and calf, just under the knee. This leg shrinker helps support the knee joint and improves the lower legs’ stability. It can help reduce pain and discomfort, allowing for better mobility for your child.

3. Ankle Length

The ankle-length leg shrinker fits around the ankle, providing support to the lower limbs and helping to reduce the risk of falls. Additionally, it aids with balancing and stability for greater mobility. For ultimate comfort and protection, its adjustable straps allow for a customizable fit.

How to Use a Leg Shrinker Effectively

When using a leg shrinker, there are five key ways to ensure it’s used correctly and to get the best results. To get the most out of your leg shrinker, follow these tips:

  • Ensure proper fit by measuring the length of your child’s lower limb before purchasing a leg shrinker.
  • When performing tasks that call for standing or walking, be sure to wear the leg shrinker.
  • Adjust the straps regularly to ensure proper fit and alignment.
  • Practice daily stretching and exercise routines to keep the legs strong and flexible.
  • Regularly check for wear signs, such as fraying or discoloration, and replace as necessary.
  • Monitor your child’s progress to ensure their condition is improving with the use of the leg shrinker.

Help Your Child Thrive

Leg shrinkers help improve mobility and reduce pain for children with limited movement. With the right support, these aids can provide your child with an improved quality of life that allows them to engage in activities they otherwise may not have been able to do.

Align Clinic specializes in scoliosis and pediatric orthotics and can help determine if a leg shrinker is the right solution for your child and guide you through the process. To find out more about how we can help your child thrive, contact us right away.