Choosing the Right Shoulder Sling

The shoulder is a commonly injured joint and to effectively rest it following aggravation, a shoulder sling is required.

The glenohumeral joint is the articulation between the ball at the top of the arm bone and the socket that is part of the shoulder blade. It offers a very high level of mobility, allowing movement in all directions but this freedom comes at the expense of stability. The shoulder relies on a number of soft tissue structures to maintain this stability and these are prone to injury. The muscles of the rotator cuff are often torn and in many cases require surgery to repair them. Shoulder dislocations are common and once the joint has been displaced the first time, the risk of it happening again is greatly increased. Apart from these significant injuries, the shoulder can also suffer mild strains and sprains following falls or contact sports.

Before choosing a shoulder support you need to determine if you require a basic shoulder sling or if you need a shoulder immobilizer. A shoulder sling has just the single strap that goes from the point of the elbow, over the opposite shoulder before attaching near the wrist of the injured arm. A shoulder immobilizer also has this strap but in addition has a second strap that is like a waist belt that acts to hold the arm snugly to the body.

For minor injuries when short-term support is all that is required, a basic shoulder sling is suitable. More significant damage to the shoulder often needs the added support a shoulder immobilizer offers.