Arm slings - shoulder immobilizers
Arm and shoulder slings - what should you know?
Medical slings serve a number of purposes - from treating symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder and inflamed joints, to treating dislocations and fractures. These arm supports are a godsend for patients who suffer from various conditions concerning the upper limbs. Is a shoulder sling for you? Read on and find out!
Arm and shoulder slings - who are they for?
Depending on its design, a shoulder or arm sling can serve a number of purposes. A simple mesh sling, for example, may be used to keep the right or left arm that is in a plaster cast in a certain position, without overbearing the shoulder joint. It’s not only easy to remove, but at the same time, it significantly improves the comfort in everyday life, and can be worn even if the plaster cast covers the entire forearm and elbow joint.
In some cases, an arm sling may even replace a traditional cast, especially in situations where the latter may not be conventional for the patient. This type of arm support sling is used for treating shoulder dislocations and even fractures to the scapula and bones composing the shoulder joint. A well-chosen sling may also be used to provide support for inflamed shoulder joints, as well as symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis of the shoulder.
Additionally, certain orthopedic sling models are recommended in helping patients recover from surgeries to or around the shoulder joint and collarbone areas. These function as shoulder immobilizers, keeping the joint and arm in place - unlike other models, which may offer the patient more freedom to move their affected arm. This is why it is important to find the appropriate sling to help treat the patient's’ condition. Ever shoulder sling may also be worn for recurring injuries the shoulder joint as well.
How does a sling work?
All slings help relieve the joint shoulder of tension. This is especially helpful when the patient has a heavy plaster cast or suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, which causes significant pain. A shoulder sling provides superior comfort, reduces joint pain and keeps the head of the humerus in place.
Some sling models can completely immobilize the arm and shoulder joint, which is especially important when it comes to the protection and recovery of limbs and joints that have been operated on. The arm and shoulder sling prevents overloading and use of these tissues and joints, as well reduces swelling and the risk of further complications.
Which sling should you choose?
Choosing an arm sling depends primarily on what condition it is intend for. The mesh sling, made of canvas material, is a lightweight solution, ideal for the comfortable support of a plaster cast. It guarantees comfort and provides good airflow, therefore it also works well when worn with direct contact with the skin.
When a patient is required to have their left or right arm immobilized, an arm sling made of stiffer material would be recommended for the job. This type of model may consist of a special belt or adjustable fastener on chest with a sleeve made to keep your arm in place. A joint or upper limb sling may be more or less stiffened and equipped with a comfortable support cushion.
The price of these arm and shoulder slings can vary significantly, depending on the complexity of their designs, as well as what they’re intended for. More expensive models often have added regulation options and are very comfortable throughout the rehabilitation period. A lightweight mesh sling on the other hand, comes at a lower price, and may be limited to providing support for an injured arm in a plaster cast. Usually the sling is double-sided and adjustable, therefore it can be used again if necessary.
Frequently asked questions
What is an arm sling?
It is an upper limb stabilizer that is meant to relieve and sometimes immobilize the arm, depending on it’s condition. A shoulder sling keeps the arm bent at the elbow and in a specific position. Depending on the model, the sling may offer a lesser or greater range of movement of the arm.
Where can I purchase an arm sling?
Since slings are made for individual situations, it is best to purchase them from a professional medical equipment store.This way, you can be certain that the product you buy is made of certified medical materials that are safe, durable and won’t irritate the skin. Before making your purchase, make sure your sling of choice is suited for an adult arm.