How to use a shoulder strap correctly


After a shoulder, elbow, or wrist injury, you may need to wear a bandage around your arm to protect it while it heals. Wearing a sling keeps your arm close to your body and prevents you from moving your arm too much while the injury heals. Improper use of the bandage can delay healing or worse, further injury to the hand.

General indications

In many cases, you may need to wear a sling after an injury. This includes:

  • Post-fracture : A broken shoulder, elbow , or wrist fracture may require a bandage. After a fracture, it is important to immobilize the arm so that the bones heal properly. The strap holds your hand in place for this to happen.
  • After shoulder surgery : You may need a bandage to prevent the muscles around your shoulder from tightening too much and interfering with the healing process. After rotator cuff surgery, a sudden muscle contraction can tear the rebuilt muscle. The strap avoids this.
  • After a stroke : A stroke is a serious injury. It can cause paralysis of the arm, leg, or both. If your shoulder is not moving properly, it can become painful when it hangs on your side. The strap helps support the arm and prevents you from being uncomfortable pulling on the shoulder.

Any injury or surgery to the upper limb may require the use of a bandage while things improve. When wearing a sling, be sure to follow your doctor's advice.

How to wear a sling

Learn about medicine / Teresa Chiechi

If you need a dressing, it is important that you use it correctly. This helps prevent fluid and blood from pooling in the hand and wrist. Correct use of the sling can ensure proper healing of your hand.

To properly adjust the shoulder strap:

  1. Gently pull the sling over your arm and elbow. It should fit comfortably on your elbow. Your hand should reach the end of the loop. Make sure the end of the loop does not cut your wrist or arm; if your hand hangs on your wrist, your band may be too small.
  2. Stretch your neck and grab the strap behind your elbow. Wrap the strap around the back of your neck and thread it through the loop next to your hand.
  3. Tighten the straps so that the arm and forearm are above elbow level. This helps prevent blood and fluid from pooling in the hand and wrist.
  4. Secure the strap with velcro straps. If you want, you can place a small piece of terry cloth under the strap for comfort around your neck.
  5. Some slings have a strap that wraps around the back so that the elbow fits snugly against the body. If there is one, reach out from behind and pull the strap around your back, clasping it next to your hand. Make sure the strap is not too tight. You should place two or three fingers between your body and the strap.

Your sling should fit comfortably and should not feel tight or tight. You should keep your shoulder, elbow, and wrist in a relaxed position so that you can go about your daily activities.

Click "Play" to learn how to use a sling.

Common mistakes

There are common mistakes people make when wearing a shoulder strap. If used incorrectly, the shoulder strap can cause discomfort and slow down the healing process. Your healthcare professional or physical therapist can help you avoid these obstacles.

Honda too loose

If you do not support your shoulder, elbow, and wrist, the sling will not hold your arm in place and could put unnecessary strain on your arm. Make sure the loop supports your hand and forearm, and make sure your elbow is at a 90 degree angle. If your elbow is too straight, the loop may be too loose.

The sling is too tight

Too tight a bandage can restrict blood flow to and from the elbow and arm, starving the tissue of oxygen and damaging the arm, hand, and / or fingers. If you feel numbness, tingling, or swelling, or if your hands and fingers feel cold or blue, see your doctor or physical therapist for correction.

Arm hangs too low

When using the shoulder strap, your arm should not hang too low. If so, the weight of your arm can put stress and strain on your healing arm and shoulder. Also, your arm can simply and suddenly drop from the loop if it hangs too low.

When wearing the bandage, your elbow should be bent 90 degrees and the loop should hold your arm firmly against your body without lifting it. The shoulder should not be raised or lowered. If you are not sure whether the bandage is secure, ask your doctor's physical therapist to make any necessary adjustments.

You are not training nearby muscles.

The purpose of wearing a bandage is to protect your shoulder and arm during healing. This does not mean that you should not involve some of the muscles in your arm and hand during recovery. Since the loop is designed to immobilize your shoulder, it can cause a decrease in range of motion (ROM) and strength in your arm if steps are not taken to prevent it.

During your recovery, your healthcare professional will generally recommend that you remove the bandage and do circular exercises without hitting the pendulum two or three times a day to keep your joints moving. Manual exercises that use therapeutic putty to create resistance can improve wrist and forearm strength.

Get the word of drug information

Wearing a lanyard can be a bit anxious due to all its straps and loops. Over time, you will learn to use it comfortably so that your hand can heal properly and safely. If you feel like you need more help with your bandage, be sure to seek help from your doctor or physical therapist .

Once the injury has healed, you may need to see a doctor or physical therapist to learn exercises that will help improve ROM and arm strength. Improving mobility can help you regain the state you were in before your injury.

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