Shoulder problems can cause severe pain and severely limit mobility. Often, shoulder pain or injury also affects the back, neck, and arms. Using a shoulder brace to prevent or correct shoulder problems can help you maintain movement or daily activities.
Common types of shoulder supports include:
- shoulder strap
- rotator cuff
- shoulder immobilizer
- Shoulder/arm strap
- Clavicle Brace / Posture Corrector
How does the shoulder rest work?
Shoulder injuries can occur from impacts while you are exercising, accidentally falling, or even overuse. There are a variety of shoulder braces to choose from, each of which helps athletes recover from a certain injury in a specific way.
Many shoulder braces help immobilize the arms and shoulders to provide support to the injured area and minimize movement. This allows the shoulder to heal without undue stress, while also minimizing the risk of re-injury.
Other shoulder rests provide compression. These braces are suitable for athletes who are slowly returning to sports or training during the recovery period or those with minor injuries. The compressive properties of these shoulder braces provide adequate protection and support, transfer pressure and force from the injured area to the surrounding area of the body and the brace itself, and help regulate blood flow to reduce swelling/inflammation and pain while speeding up the recovery process.
Research on how shoulder braces work shows that they can also help improve an athlete's awareness of arm position, the force exerted by muscles, and coordination with other muscles. This is also called proprioception. Improved proprioception helps stabilize the shoulder, prevent injury and maximize performance.
Some shoulder braces also work by providing resistance, which helps strengthen the shoulders during training as muscles have to work harder to perform certain activities due to resistance. This can also improve performance, strengthen weak structures in the shoulder and arm, and help repair existing damage.
Like any joint, the shoulder is at risk for pain and injury during work, sports or exercise, and even during daily activities. Shoulder support helps reduce this risk so you can continue to perform at your best.
The main advantages of shoulder arm support are:
Reduce the risk of shoulder dislocation or injury
- Reduce pain and swelling after injury or surgery
- Healing faster after injury or surgery with a lower risk of re-injury
- Increased shoulder stability, better back and arm support
What types of injuries require shoulder pads?
It is often difficult to adequately assess the severity of shoulder injuries and the structures that are damaged following a sports injury. Therefore, athletes should always consult a doctor or medical professional before choosing a shoulder brace to determine the exact cause and severity of the injury. Here's an explanation of some of the most common shoulder injuries people can suffer, and how a shoulder brace can help with recovery:
Because the shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body, it is prone to instability and is the joint most prone to dislocation. Shoulder dislocations can occur as a result of trauma, such as being tackled at a football game or being examined at a hockey game. Shoulder braces can help immobilize injuries as they heal and aid joint recovery after surgery if necessary.
Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) Injuries
The little firm bump you feel at the top of your shoulder is your acromioclavicular joint (ACJ). This joint is very important for overhead and throwing athletes. You can sprain this joint through repeated falls on your shoulder or through a football tackle. It can also be dislocated. Shoulder braces help reduce swelling and inflammation of a sprained ACJ, promote recovery, and help stabilize a dislocated ACJ during recovery or after surgery.
Shoulder impingement syndrome occurs when the arm is repeatedly used for overhead movements and leads to the development of small bone spurs that trap the rotator cuff tendon above the main shoulder joint. A shoulder brace can help reduce pain and limit movement to heal the area.
rotator cuff tear
The rotator cuff is a very important set of tendons that provide movement and stability to your shoulder. When the rotator cuff is damaged, it can cause pain and weakness. Tears caused by injuries, especially in athletes, benefit from the immobilization and support provided by the shoulder brace, as the tears can become larger and more difficult to repair. Shoulder braces also provide a way to strengthen the rotator cuff after it has fully healed, preventing re-injury.
The labrum is the cushion around the shoulder socket. Labral tears usually occur after a fall or a direct blow to the shoulder, but can also occur during a throw or pull. A shoulder brace can provide support and manage blood flow to the area, helping repair tears and reduce pain.
Shoulder arthritis occurs when a joint wears down with age or overuse. Joints lose their original lubrication and become stiff and painful. Keeping your shoulders active and your muscles toned is beneficial. Shoulder braces can help strengthen joints while reducing pain associated with arthritis. Shoulder braces can also help train a joint to maximize its range of motion and reduce the effects of arthritis or help prevent it from developing.
What other recovery methods can supplement my shoulder support?
Following a shoulder injury, athletes can use two main components to supplement the effectiveness of the shoulder brace. The first is rest. Giving the shoulder time to heal properly sounds simple, but it is often a big psychological barrier for athletes. The role of the shoulder brace is to help the athlete rest the shoulder by immobilizing the shoulder, while also providing a reminder to the body that even if you may feel that you should resume training, it is best to exercise caution, take the advice of a medical professional and rest until fully recovered.
The second major element of shoulder injury recovery beyond the shoulder brace is physical therapy, active rehabilitation, and specialized stretching. Physical therapy exercises specifically designed to strengthen the structures around the injured area of the shoulder and arm can provide strength and stability to the shoulder. It allows the shoulder to heal quickly without undue stress or trauma. It also helps reduce the risk of re-injury during competition or training.
There are several other recovery methods that athletes can use in conjunction with a shoulder brace. You can use hot and cold therapy to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain by regulating blood flow to the area. Pain relievers and steroid injections or creams may also be used in certain cases, as recommended by a medical professional. Finally, surgery may be an option for serious shoulder injuries.