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An arm sprain, strain or broken bone can be extremely painful and take a long time to heal. Keeping the arm still really helps to knit broken bones back together and encourage strained nerves, ligaments and muscle tissue to heal correctly. Arm slings are specially designed to support the arm, shoulder, wrist or elbow as they heal and to keep your arm in the right position. They also protect against further knocks and restrict unwanted arm movement to help reduce pain and discomfort.
It is recommended that anyone who suffers a wrist, arm, or shoulder fracture wear a sling for the maximum recommended time. Arm slings can also help relieve radiating pain from other injuries elsewhere on the body, as well as from arthritis, tendonitis, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome and other uncomfortable medical conditions. If someone has had a stroke and suffered resulting paralysis, an arm sling can also help protect an affected limb during their rehabilitation period.
Knowing how to wear an arm sling properly is very important. It must cover both the arm and the elbow and reach as far as the wrist or hand for full support. Make sure it is not adjusted too tightly at the elbow or wrist to avoid cutting off the blood supply. It should, however, be fitted firmly and closely to give maximum support. If you can, pull your hand close to your chest, above elbow level to help with blood circulation in the wrist and hand as much as possible. Choose an arm sling with thumb loops to help support the weight of your arm and prevent your neck muscles from growing tired.
The breathable fabric to help the airflow around your arm as it heals and prevents it from becoming too hot and sweaty. The lighter the weight the better as you will be supporting your arm in the sling for a while. If you plan to remove it to shower or for bed, make sure you know how to undo the straps and put the device back on again safely and correctly. Look out for well-padded body and shoulder straps for additional comfort and shock absorption. If you will be adjusting your sling by yourself, Velcro straps will make your life a lot easier than buckles or ties. If you need to wear an arm sling after surgery, ask your surgeon or doctor for their recommendations.