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Choosing the Best Shoulder Brace

by Juan Lopez April 26, 2022 0 Comments

Choosing the Best Shoulder Brace Shoulder braces come in all different shapes and sizes, from options with a slim design made to combat sprains and strains, to heavy-duty braces that immobilize the joint completely. Take a look at our guide for help sorting through the options. We’ll teach you what to consider including material, type, range of motion, level of support, and recommendations tailored to your needs.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Shoulder Support

We broke down all the most important factors to help you find the option that suits your needs best.


  • Neoprene

    Our standard shoulder brace and shoulder ice pack both use neoprene for it’s lightweight durability. Since both of these braces try to retain some range of motion, the flexibility of neoprene is the perfect asset. As a plus, it also helps wick away moisture and deliver continuous airflow to the entire region.

  • Polyester

    Polyester is the ideal material for our shoulder compression ice pack, since it is highly durable and can withstand repetitive stress. The material’s hydrophobic coating lets you use it in damp environments, and it also repels sweat and condensation for your comfort.

  • Nylon

    We use nylon in each of our slings because it does a great job of cradling the arms while minimizing weight and bulk. When combined with spandex in our shoulder abduction sling it can easily contour to the body for a snug fit that provides plenty of support.

  • Nylon Mesh

    Our nylon mesh fabric is used in our shoulder arm sling for added breathability. By allowing airflow over the arm, the sling is able to enhance comfort and prevent overheating and sweating.


  • Wrap

    Our wrap braces are designed to hug the contours of your shoulder to deliver mild to moderate support and compression, while restricting your range of motion. They open fully to accommodate limited mobility along with swelling and inflammation. Wear them over or under clothes (on either shoulder) and fasten with straps across the bicep and chest.

  • Sling

    Our shoulder sling arm supports are designed to bear the weight of your arm and prevent fatigue over long-term recovery. It includes a thumb loop to position the hand in a neutral posture that ensures correct placement.

    We offer two different sling braces, the standard arm sling design and abduction sling, which offer varying levels of support. They are each made primarily of nylon for lightweight durability, and include interior pockets to hold personal belongings.

Adjustable Straps

Adjustable straps are convenient for proper sizing, fit, and positioning. Straps located around the bicep allow for customized compression and can be easily adjusted to accommodate swelling and inflammation. Each shoulder brace is designed with an adjustable chest/shoulder strap that can be fully released, making the brace easy to slip on and off. These straps include padding for added comfort around the neck.

Our shoulder abduction sling includes 2 additional straps located around the abdominal area and forearm. These ensure proper positioning, a tailored fit to your body, and immobilized support.

On our shoulder ice pack brace and shoulder support brace, you’ll notice an extra strap located over the rotator cuff area which provides additional customizable compression.

Range of Motion

  • Stabilizer

    Most of our shoulder braces focus on stabilizing the joint by reducing the wearer’s range of motion, but still retaining plenty of flexibility. Stabilizing braces offer mild to moderate support and are easier to wear throughout the day. This makes them ideal for minor injuries or those further along in the recovery process.

  • Immobilizer

    Our shoulder abduction sling features an immobilization design which holds the injured arm firmly in place to promote healing. An included abdominal pillow contours to the body and helps keep the arm immobilized at a 15 degree angle away from the body. It is made of high density foam and is removable for washing.

Level of Support

  • Mild

    Choose a mild support brace for minor injuries or ones that are further along in the recovery process. They allow for a controlled range of motion that will still let you enjoy most of your day-to-day activities. Our standard shoulder brace and arm sling are good examples, while both of our shoulder ice packs can be adjusted for mild compression.

  • Moderate

    If you find you need a bit of extra support and compression, simply adjust the straps on any of our wrap style braces for moderate stability. Since our shoulder braces are so versatile, they are a good option for anything from sports to arthritis.

  • Maximum

    For the most serious shoulder injuries take advantage of one of our maximum support braces. They are designed to keep the joint in place with a series of straps and supports. Some, like our abduction sling, immobilize the joint completely to prioritize healing post surgery or for dislocations and soft tissue strains.

    For more adjustable support, check out our newest Shoulder Support Brace. It’s designed with an extra built in strap over the shoulder blade that can be adjusted for greater compression and stability.

Additional Features

  • Extender Straps

    Both the Shoulder Brace and Shoulder Support Brace come with an additional extender strap to accommodate larger chest sizes.

  • Hot and Cold Packs

    Our shoulder compression ice pack and standard shoulder ice pack add an Arctic Flex gel pack for hot or cold therapy. It's a hands-free way to soothe your joint, and can be removed when needed.

  • Compression Hand Pump

    Our compression ice pack includes a hand pump with release valve, making it easy to inflate and deflate the interior air bladder for adjustable compression. Simply release the valve to let the air out. You can remove the pump while wearing the brace, or securely attach it with a discreet Velcro strap.

  • Exercise Balls

    Our shoulder abduction sling includes a foam exercise ball which helps encourage blood circulation and reduce swelling during recovery. It’s a simple way to activate hand, wrist and forearm muscles during recovery.

Our Recommendations for... 

Below you can find our recommendations on the issues that matter most to our customers.

Shoulder Brace for Rotator Cuff Tear

Rotator Cuff Tear

The pain and joint weakness that comes with a rotator cuff tear can take months to heal, making a good shoulder brace a necessity. For day-to-day support that can get you through your recovery, try our shoulder support brace . It offers mild to moderate support to keep your healing joint protected, while staying flexible and comfortable enough to go about your daily activities. For the most serious rotator cuff tears, be sure to try the abduction sling top protection.

Brace for Dislocated Shoulder

Shoulder Dislocation

Shoulder instability is a common concern that is best treated by a quality immobilizer brace. Help avoid dislocations with our shoulder abduction sling which can keep your joint from moving with gentle padding. It offers cushioning in the neck strap, waist area, as well as the brace itself, prioritizing a high level of support to allow your shoulder to heal and strengthen. Once you’re further along in the recovery process, our shoulder brace will be great for more lightweight support.

Shoulder Brace for Sports


Shoulder Separations and other serious joint injuries come at a higher risk for those who regularly play sports. Luckily, our shoulder support brace is an all-around option with a breathable neoprene build to help protect your joint while encouraging healing. It delivers customized compression to allow you to stay flexible while out in the field or on the court, while a slim profile will allow maximum range of motion. For post-game recovery, give our shoulder ice wrap a try.

Brace for Shoulder Immobilizer

Shoulder Immobilization

Sometimes, the best way to keep your shoulders fit is to keep them from moving altogether. Our shoulder abduction sling will be able to do just that, while offering a high level of comfort and support. Its ergonomic design is ideal, as it will contour to your arm, neck, and midsection for a comfortable fit that will fit either arm.

Brace for Frozen Shoulders

Frozen Shoulder

With chronic pain and stiffness, frozen shoulders can make it hard to go about your daily life. To relieve these symptoms, try our shoulder compression ice wrap, which incorporates hot and cold therapy alongside compression into its design. It features a removable gel pack that can be heated and cooled, and stays flexible to maintain the maximum range of motion possible. As a bonus, the inflatable air bladder can ensure you get customized compression. Our shoulder ice wrap will offer a more mild treatment, while still delivering the hold and cold therapy you need.

Brace for Shoulder Impingement

Shoulder Impingement

The muscle tears, pain, and stiffness that go along with a shoulder impingement can be difficult to manage. Luckily, our arm sling offers maximum support and is perfect for cradling the arm with its ergonomic cushioning. Its breathable material is ideal, and won’t chafe or cause sweating as you recover. This option can be worn by a range of sizes, and on either arm. For additional support, try our shoulder abduction sling and get the protection you need.

Brace for Shoulder Arthritis

Shoulder Arthritis

When it comes to treating arthritis, compression therapy is key. Our shoulder ice wrap offers ample support and compression while staying comfortable allows you to enjoy all your favorite activities while staying flexible. Add in a gel pack for hot or cold therapy to alleviate some of the pain of the condition, while also reducing any swelling or inflammation that may be present. Our shoulder brace is another good way to get lightweight support without excess bulk.


Frequently Asked Questions

Make the most out of your shoulder brace by getting answers to our most common questions.

Q: Can I sleep with a shoulder brace?

A: A shoulder brace can be an asset to relieving nighttime pain but only if used with care. Follow these tips, and remember to consult your doctor if you have any questions.

  • Wear your brace over clothing to avoid skin irritation
  • Sleep on your back to avoid excess pressure on the joint
  • Keep the area dry and clean
  • Don’t wear your shoulder brace if it causes pain or discomfort

Q: How long should a shoulder sling be worn?

A: Shoulder slings cradle the arm to take weight off the joint during the healing process. They also help prevent fatigue and limit range of motion. Keep in mind that slings should not be worn for too long or the joint will become stiff. Two to four weeks is common for fractures, but this time can vary depending on the severity of the injury.

Q: Is a shoulder brace the right choice for pain relief?

A: Shoulder pain can result from a wide range of different causes, and so it is always best to consult a physician before self-treatment. However many of our braces are well suited to pain resulting from arthritis, dislocations, sprains, and other common causes of shoulder pain.

Need More Help?

Get more information on all Vive Health products by talking to our customer service and product specialists. Call between 8:30am and 9pm EST daily at 1-800-487-3808 or email us at

Juan Lopez
Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez is part of the product development and improvement team at His understanding of products and vast knowledge of consumer needs makes it easy for him to provide helpful information on choosing the best products.

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