Shoulder braces and slings are designed to immobilise the shoulder and arm by placing the joint in a fixed position and to prevent movement. Shoulder support is essential to protect the muscles and ligaments of the shoulder joint post injury.
The treatment aim is to alleviate pain, and reduce further joint, muscle and soft tissue damage.
A brace or immobiliser may be helpful to ease the pain of a dislocated or frozen shoulder, although rehab after shoulder injury in sport may be a lengthy process..
Shoulder Support, slings and Shoulder Braces
The instability of the shoulder joint and the forces involved in impact sports make the shoulder very vulnerable to injury in sports such as Rugby. So much so that one of the most common injury in the sport is known as “Rugby Shoulder”
Because of the vulnerability of the shoulder, designing a shoulder support brace for sport is extremely difficult, given the potential force of impact on the joint. However, in elite sport, enhancement of performance with speed and endurance training has been shown to reduce the incidence of injury. Recurrence of shoulder injury is more prevalent in athletes who have trained for shorter periods than others.
Because of the difficulty of protecting the shoulder, until recently shoulder braces for sport have been few and far between, with the Sully Shoulder Brace from Donjoy being an adaptable support for a variety of shoulder injuries. However, the new Mueller Shoulder Support is a more adjustable brace for sport than the popular McDavid Shoulder Brace.
For immobilising the shoulder after an acute injury, a simple shoulder sling or triangular bandage may be used until the injury is properly assessed and this combined with analgesics may alleviate shoulder pain to some degree.
Rotator Cuff injuries are quite common in sport, and it is important that injuries to these tendons are treated early, deferring treatment makes repair more complex.
Other common injuries in sport include AC (acromioclavicular) Joint injuries, dislocations, Bursitis, swimmer’s shoulder, thrower’s shoulder, and football shoulder, and while Frozen Shoulder is not so common in sport it is regularly seen in a busy Physio Practice.