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7 Best Arm Slings for Shoulder Support

by Amanda Ghosh July 03, 2017

elderly lady with shoulder painAre you ready to protect your shoulder? An arm sling for shoulder support will protect and support your shoulder by immobilizing the joint. Slings work for broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, subluxations, tears, and fractures. Without a sling, you could accidentally move your arm the wrong way or bump into something and re-injure yourself. We can all agree that’s not fun. So we’ve chosen the best slings to keep your shoulder safe while it heals. Take a look!

Best Arm Slings for Shoulder Support - Top 7

Model Brand Lowest Price
1. Shoulder Abduction with Pillow Ortho Depot
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2. Ultimate Arm Sling Joslin Sling
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3. Medical Arm Sling Custom SLR
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4. Shoulder Immobilizer One Planet Products
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5. Arm Sling Vive
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6. Ergonomic Arm Sling Think Ergo
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7. Mesh Sling Think Ergo
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1. Shoulder Abduction with Pillow by Ortho Depot Shoulder Abduction with Pillow by Ortho Depot

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With this sling, you can immobilize your shoulder and find a range of comfortable positions. It comes with a removable pillow that allows you to position your arm in different ways to find the most supportive and comfortable spot. The sling also comes with an exercise ball, which you can use to rehabilitate or to strengthen your grip.

Pros:
  • Use on either arm
  • Removable pillow lets you find most comfortable position
  • Fits many different arm sizes
Cons:
  • Difficult to figure out how to wear at first

2. Ultimate Arm Sling by Joslin Sling Ultimate Arm Sling by Joslin Sling

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This arm sling is made from spandex, so it stretches to fit your arm. It’s comfortable on your neck, and it’s latex-free, which is perfect for those with sensitive skin. Plus, it’s easy to wash. Toss it in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry to keep it clean.

Pros:
  • Easy to clean
  • Sensitive-skin friendly
  • Very lightweight and comfortable
Cons:
  • Stretches over time with extensive wear

3. Medical Arm Sling by Custom SLR Medical Arm Sling by Custom SLR

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This sling uses special technology to distribute the weight of your arm evenly, which reduces pain and fatigue. It also has ventilation to keep your arm cool. Adjust this sling using your free hand by pulling on a conveniently located strap. We like that this sling has a place to keep your ID and cash.

Pros:
  • Thumb grip provides extra stabilization
  • Keep your personal belongings with you
  • Comfortable and doesn’t dig into your neck
Cons:
  • Sizing chart is off—may run large

4. Shoulder Immobilizer by One Planet Products Shoulder Immobilizer by One Planet Products

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This sling has a chest strap that adds an extra layer of support and immobilization. The padded strap reduces discomfort while you go about your day. It’s well suited for a variety of shoulder injuries, and it provides great support for the rotator cuff.

Pros:
  • Strong rotator cuff support
  • Padding feels like memory foam
  • Neck area is well cushioned
Cons:
  • Sizing may not be well suited for tall or large people

5. Arm Sling by Vive Arm Sling by Vive

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This sling offers strong support and immobilization for broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, subluxations, tears, and fractures. The sling disperses weight evenly to offer additional relief for the arm and shoulder. It also has a thumb grip for added support and stabilization. Inside pockets allow you to keep personal belongings close, and ventilation keeps your arm cool. This product offers the same features as the more expensive slings but for a fraction of the price. And we stand by our products with a 60-day guarantee.

Pros:
  • Fits well and easy to adjust (can be worn on either arm)
  • Very comfortable
  • 60-day money-back guarantee
Cons:
  • Needs to be air dried

6. Ergonomic Arm Sling by Think Ergo Ergonomic Arm Sling by Think Ergo

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This sling has a strap designed to contour to your neck and shoulder so it’s more comfortable to wear. The strap is ventilated, so wearing this sling on a hot day will be pleasant. The arm support is comfortable, too.

Pros:
  • Thumb sling keeps hand supported
  • Easy to put on by yourself
  • Breathable
Cons:
  • May leave a blueish-blackish mark on shirts

7. Mesh Sling by Think Ergo Mesh Sling by Think Ergo

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Another product by Think Ergo—this sling is made of mesh, so it is even more breathable! It has an elastic thumb loop to support the thumb, and you can adjust the length of the sling for a better fit. This sling is a great choice if you live in a hot climate or tend to get warm and sweaty—it is extremely breathable.

Pros:
  • Mesh is very breathable
  • Adjustable length
  • Can use in the shower
Cons:
  • Best for shorter arms (despite universal sizing)

Shoulder Sling Types

There are two common types of slings: high arm slings and shoulder immobilizers. Both can be used after surgery or to recover from an injury. Either type will restrict mobility, and each requires that your arm be held close to your chest. A few key differences do exist, so use this section to determine which type is right for you.

High Arm Sling

This type of sling keeps your arm and hand elevated.

Benefits:

  • Arm is kept safe from hazards
  • Helps control swelling

Shoulder Immobilizer

This sling stabilizes and immobilizes the arm to reduce shoulder rotation and abduction (movement of the shoulder away from the arm).

Benefits:

  • Allows shoulder injuries to recovery
  • Stabilizes the arm to support and immobilize the shoulder

The fabric, material, and technology are different in individual slings—even of the same type—so determine what you need from a sling before beginning your research. First, decide if you need a sling to immobilize the shoulder or protect your arm and hand.

The products on our list will work for either situation, but if you’re looking to immobilize the shoulder, go with a more “heavy duty” sling.

Thinking about buying your sling online? Check out the perks of buying medical supplies online!

Tips for Wearing an Arm Sling for Shoulder Immobilizer

Ask your doctor how long and how often to wear a sling and whether you need to wear it while you sleep.

In the meantime, to make wearing a sling more comfortable, follow the shoulder immobilizer sling instructions that come with the product, and give these suggestions a try:

  • Getting Dressed

Wear shirts that button or zip all the way down to make it easier to dress. Loose clothing is easier to put on. If it’s summer, try a t-shirt. In the winter, wear a sweater with some give.

Dressing aids can be extremely useful for getting dressed with an injured shoulder. A dressing stick will help you put on and remove clothing—and even zip your zippers—with limited mobility. And a button hook makes it easier to secure your shirt buttons with one hand.

Click here to see nifty living aids to make daily life simpler while your shoulder recovers.

  • Wearing an Arm Sling for Shoulder Support

If your sling has pockets for personal belongings, load them before putting on the sling. After you’ve got your shirt on, put the sling strap around your body and adjust it.

Then, have someone help you put your injured arm in the sling. You can adjust the sling more after it’s in place. Rest your thumb in the the thumb loop to keep your hand supported.

Tip:

Your sling may stretch over time. Tighten the straps to adjust for this. Make sure the sling, not your shoulder, is always carrying the weight of your arm.
  • Sleeping in a Sling

At night, it can be helpful to prop your entire upper body and injured shoulder on pillows. If that’s uncomfortable, try elevating just the injured arm with pillows.

It’s also wise to sleep on your back. Try loosening the straps while you sleep and tightening them during the day. There’s no rule that says sling straps need to be super tight. As long as you’re supported and comfortable, you’re good to go.

  • Washing the Sling

For best hygiene practices, wash the sling once a week with soap and water.

Most slings will need to be hand washed and air dried, but a few can be tossed in the laundry machine. Check the instructions on your sling. Consider buying two slings if you’ll need to wash them frequently, because air drying takes time.

  • Hand & Wrist Support

Your shoulder isn’t all you want to support. The sling should be comfortable for your hand and wrist, too. Because wearing a sling immobilizes your arm, wrist, and hand, you need to move your fingers and wrists regularly to prevent stiffness.

For faster recovery, be sure to ice the injured shoulder regularly. Click here to see the best ice packs for injuries.

Tip:

Make sure your hand is level with your elbow while you’re wearing your sling.

Safeguard Your Shoulder with an Arm Sling for Shoulder Support

Have you injured your arm or wrist playing tennis? Or maybe you banged up your shoulder recently? Make sure your arm and shoulder are well supported so they can heal. An arm sling for shoulder support keeps your arm and shoulder safe and lets them rest so you can recover. A sling may limit you temporarily, but it will help you bounce back faster. We’ve picked out the best slings we could find for healing and recovery. Take a look and select the best choice for you.

Sources:

https://www.healthgrades.com/procedures/8-tips-for-coping-with-a-shoulder-sling

Amanda Ghosh
Amanda Ghosh

Amanda has a Masters of Science in Nutrition from Syracuse University which equipped her with courses applied to licensure as a dietitian. She also worked as a Program Director for the Wellness and Fitness Department for the YMCA. She is well versed in physical fitness, with a certificate from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in physical fitness training. She has taught numerous fitness classes, including college courses in the Athletic Department, as an adjunct instructor, at the SUNY University at Buffalo. She currently resides with her husband in the NYC area, and loves to put her knowledge of anatomy and physiology to use by being active. Both her and her husband are self-declared "foodies."


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