Shoulder braces support the injured shoulder and prevent further injury. If you are recovering from a shoulder injury recently, wearing the brace can be effective. Also, most orthopedics suggests wearing shoulder braces when you perform any activities that put pressure on the shoulder.
However, you must know how to wear a shoulder brace properly to maximize its benefits. In fact, it can even hurt your shoulder further if you wear the brace inappropriately. Also, finding the right shoulder brace is essential for maximizing your comfort.
Usually, shoulder braces have straps or Velcro. You need to adjust its tightness properly to wear the brace. Also, ensure your hand is in the right posture and do not feel stranded within the brace. For this, you must ensure that the sling of the shoulder brace is not too tight and comfy.
How to Wear a Shoulder Brace
Shoulder compression braces provide extra support to your shoulder and hand. Many people wear it when they are recovering from injuries. Whether you have a broken shoulder or muscle pull, the brace will help the shoulder recover faster. But you have to wear it the right way.
Step 1: Check your shoulder brace
First, inspect the shoulder brace to see its design and construction. Does it contain regular Velcro? Does it have advanced straps that you can loosen or tighten to wear? Also, check how the brace sits in and around your shoulder.
Most shoulder braces will have two parts:
- One part goes over your shoulder like a seatbelt in your car. Also, it has a locking system with quick adjustment.
- Another part is where your upper limb or arm will rest. It also has an adjustable belt to fit the brace securely.
So, inspect all the brace parts and see how they work.
Step 2: Preparing the brace for wearing it
When you have inspected the brace and how it works, it’s time to prepare it. Typically, shoulder braces came in boxes and folded. You need to unfold it completely. Also, unlock the belt that goes over your shoulder and wraps your chest.
Next up, check if the upper arm support needs unlocking too. You should also check if it has any zipper that you need to open. Finally, look for any additional items inside the brace that need adjustment.
Step 3: Insert the brace through your hand
After preparing the shoulder brace, insert it through your hand. You need to insert it on the side of the shoulder where it will rest. Pull it up right to your shoulder as you insert it through the hand. Ensure that its thick part sits comfortably on your shoulder.
The thick pad must be right over your shoulder. It is essential since this thick padding will protect your injured shoulder. Also, pull the belt of the brace from your back right in front of your chest until it reaches the other half of the belt.
Step 4: Tighten the shoulder brace
Carefully pull the locking belt and adjust it right over your shoulder and at the back. Now, attach the two parts through the locking system. As it locks, you should hear a nice clicking sound. You need to adjust the belt so that it fits snuggly.
If you overtighten the belt, it will put extra pressure on the shoulder. In turn, it will hurt the shoulder more than protect it. So, you must carefully adjust the tightness of the belt. Once you find the right comfort zone, lock the belt by attaching its clasps.
Step 5: Adjust the upper arm strap
Now, adjust the strap on your upper arm using your other hand. It will have Velcro to help you adjust the strap at any length. If you find it difficult to adjust the strap, take help from a family member or friend.
It is crucial since reaching the upper arm strap with your opposite hand is difficult. You must not put pressure on your injured shoulder while performing this task. Plus, ensure you get a snug fit with the arm strap too.
So, that is all; you have successfully put on your shoulder brace.
Tips To Wear And Use Shoulder Brace Properly
Shoulder braces aren’t like regular exercise bands that you can wear on your will. Instead, it needs a strict recommendation. Also, you should follow experts’ suggestions in wearing and using the brace properly for maximum comfort and support.
Consult a doctor before wearing a shoulder brace
Before you start wearing a shoulder brace, consult a doctor. They will tell you if it is safe for you or not. Also, doctors may have specific recommendations on the type of best shoulder braces for your injury. They will even suggest how long you should wear the brace.
Depending on the type of injury or condition, doctors may recommend a different type of support. It can be different than someone else with a similar problem. For instance:
- A rotator cuff injury might require one kind of shoulder support;
- A dislocated shoulder requires another; and
- Someone who has both conditions would need both types of bracing. It is needed to get full relief from pain and stiffness.
Also, the brace should be strong enough to support your arm. It mustn’t be so stiff to restrict your normal movement. Moreover, doctors will suggest other exercises you need to perform to recover from the shoulder injury. It is crucial since the shoulder brace only is a supportive tool. You still need proper medication and physical exercises to overcome the situation.
Don’t wear the brace always
You should wear the brace when needed and take it off at other times. When you’re wearing a shoulder brace, remember that it won’t provide complete protection for all situations. For example, you should not wear it when playing sports like football or basketball. These activities can cause damage if you are not careful and wear a brace simultaneously.
It is also essential to take off your brace before showering. Otherwise, it may get wet and moldy if left on too long in moist conditions like this! It makes the brace unusable for an extended period. Also, a moist brace can cause bacteria and odor development.
Get the right size and material for the brace:
You must always follow your doctor’s and the manufacturer’s instructions for the right-sized brace. It is important to use the correct size shoulder brace. If it is too small or large, this could cause chafing or irritation on different parts of your body.
Also, consider the material of the brace. They can be made of various materials, including neoprene, plastic, and cotton wool. Usually, neoprene shoulder braces have shock-absorbent and anti-sweat features. So, preventing sweat inside the brace and stopping odor development will be ideal. It is also a good choice to avoid further impacts.
On the contrary, you can go for a cotton or wool-made brace for maximum comfort. Lastly, choose the plastic ones if you are on a tight budget.
Knowing how to wear a shoulder brace properly will help you relieve pain. The shoulder strap should fit snugly around the top of your shoulder. It keeps everything secure so your shoulder doesn’t slip out of the brace.
Nonetheless, you don’t need to wear a shoulder brace as part of regular work or exercise clothing. Remember that these braces are medical devices. So, wearing them without a doctor’s suggestion can hurt you instead of protecting your shoulder.
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