31 Jan Tips for Dealing With Shoulder Braces
Tip 1: Select Your Brace by Type of Injury
Selecting a shoulder brace can be complicated. Shoulder braces are difficult to size correctly because every person has a different body type, and since most shoulder braces are sized by using only measurements of chest circumference, finding the perfect fit is difficult.
Clavicle or Posture Related Injury
If your work requires you to spend most of your time at a desk or bending forward working at a computer, then you might experience injuries relating to posture. The constant and long-lasting “slumping” can cause injury to the shoulder joint. Alongside physical therapy to strengthen your core, upper back, and shoulders, finding posture support could help your injury.
Usually, supports used for clavicle injuries or to correct posture are usually made of fabric with stretch, like elastic. Finding a brace with the proper padding or possibly with wider straps can increase your comfort level as you work to heal.
Arthritis or Severe Stiffness
Many people – athletes and non-athletes alike – suffer from arthritis of the shoulder. Older people can also suffer from extreme stiffness in the shoulder area. Usually, these issues are symptomatic of being inactive for some time, then when attempting to move again having difficulty and experiencing pain.
Alongside physical therapy, one type of brace that could be helpful for these injuries is a heat therapy shoulder wrap, which allows blood to flow around the joint and helps maintain your range of motion. It is important to note that both heat and shoulder support is important for this kind of injury, so be aware that some products only offer one of those options, not both.
Rotator Cuff or Joint Injuries
Compression is key in finding the appropriate brace for a rotator cuff or shoulder joint injuries. When selecting your shoulder brace, you should consider how activity you would like or need to be with this injury as well as how severely you are hurt.
If you are experiencing a minor injury, then a simpler stretch fabric support will provide gentle pressure reminding you not to overexert yourself so that you do not worsen the injury. If you have a slightly more severe injury, using a more intense level of support, like a neoprene shoulder brace or professional stretch fabric shoulder support, is better to keep your injury stabilized. For severe injuries, your medical provider will likely advise immobilizing the shoulder for lengthy periods to prevent further injury.
Tip 2: Determine the Severity of Your Injury
In selecting the type of brace that will work best for you, it can be important to understand how severely you are injured. Initially, you might want to administer your own care at home, so here are some helpful questions to help you determine the extent of the harm:
- Are you able to move your arm normally? When you attempt normal movements is your shoulder excessively stiff or painful?
- Are you experiencing an abnormal sensation? For instance, do you believe that your shoulder might pop out of the socket?
- Can you complete your daily activities without pain or stiffness? In other words, is your shoulder strong enough to do the things you normally do?
If you answered yes or unsure about the answer to any other those questions, then resting the injury and using ice on the area might be helpful. Using a brace to stabilize the injury is also a smart step to take. However, some injuries require medical attention, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, then seeing your doctor as soon as possible will help you on your path to recovery.
- The area around your shoulder joint looks deformed or abnormal.
- You are unable to use your shoulder in any way.
- You are experiencing intense pain accompanied by swelling.
- The rest of your arm or hand is weak or numb.
Tip 3: Learn About the Types of Braces Before You Buy
As we have stated, understanding your injury is important in helping you recover, but also having knowledge about the various types of shoulder braces can make a difference in which one you purchase.
Whether you have had surgery and need stabilization or if you need additional support to continue playing a sport, a shoulder stabilizer guards the AC joint against further injury. These types of braces offer shoulder immobilization and will control your range of motion. Usually, shoulder stabilizer braces are used for dislocations, rotator cuff tears, and separations and muscle strains.
Most people have seen or have worn a type of sling in their lives – it is one of the most common shoulder braces available. The goal of a sling is to prevent additional shoulder injury and to keep the shoulder stable by limiting movement. A sling is ideal for cast support after an injury to the arm, wrist or hand as well as for minimizing movement while a shoulder injury recovers.
This type of stabilization brace is designed to be worn while working, sitting, or doing low-impact activities. Posture support helps heal clavicle bone injuries and will bring the shoulders back and down to correct improper posture. Most of these braces can be worn over or under clothing, and many of these braces can be adjusted for the individual who is wearing it. For many, hours of sitting at a desk, and at a computer has to lead to hunched shoulders and neck pain, and this brace aims to remedy that issue.
Tip 4: Contact the Injury Care Center Today
The Injury Care Center specializes in supporting individuals who are suffering from sports or work-related injuries. For more information about the use of shoulder braces or to explore recovery options that include therapy or chiropractic, the ICC is available to consult with you and provide all of the required medical treatment and equipment. We are a patient-centered group of dedicated medication professionals with the aim of helping you recover from your injury and return to your life. Contact us today.