2020 Volume 32 Issue 1 Pages 72-78
[Purpose] Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) experience postural dysfunction, which can contribute to pain and an increased risk for falls. One method with limited research for addressing postural dysfunction is bracing. The objective of this pilot study was to establish the immediate impact of a novel thoracolumbar brace on postural alignment in individuals with PD. [Participants and Methods] This study utilized a single-participant randomized A-B design. Participants were included if they had a diagnosis of PD were 50–80 years of age, reported difficulty with posture, but were able to ambulate within their home and the community. Ten kinematic assessments of posture were completed in each phase. The primary outcome measure was postural alignment at the neck, trunk, and hip/knee. An analysis of postural stability and experience wearing the brace was also completed. [Results] Nine out of ten participants demonstrated at least one statistically significant change in a posture variable, but postural stability was variable across participants. [Conclusion] This pilot study demonstrated that the brace functioned as expected bringing postural alignment into a more neutral or extended position at the trunk and hip/knee. Further research on the long-term effect of the brace needs to be completed to determine its clinical value.