Jul 30, 2014

Shoulder Braces & Supports

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Shoulder Braces, Shoulder Splints & Supports

Need a shoulder support or shoulder splint for a shoulder injury or to improve your posture? We at BraceAbility have a wide range of arm-shoulder slings that can help treat different types of shoulder injuries, namely, shoulder dislocation/separation, arm fracture, and rotator cuff injuries. We also have shoulder stabilizers that are indicated for use after arthroscopic surgical procedures and bankart repair. Braceability has the best shoulder braces from the top shoulder support brace manufacturers, Bort and Corflex.

What is a Rotator Cuff Injury and How Can a Rotator Cuff Brace Help? 

The rotator cuff is made up of several muscles that help in the movement and dynamic stabilization of the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff muscles also help adjust the position of the upper arm and the shoulder blade during shoulder movement. Damage or injury to any of these muscles or the ligaments that attach the muscle to the bone can happen because of trauma, gradual aging, or chronic overuse. Any damage to the rotator cuff can cause mild to extreme pain and limited range of motion or use of the shoulder joint. A patient who is suffering from rotator cuff injury may also feel pain and spasm that limits the range of motion of the shoulder. Fluid accumulation and inflammation within the joint can also occur and may result in limited movement.

In addition, tears of the rotator cuff can be classified into acute or chronic. Acute tears are the result of sudden resistance felt in the arm, which happens when suddenly lifting a heavy object or when trying to  cushion a fall. Chronic tears, on the other hand, are found among those whose jobs or professions require excessive use of the shoulder that causes repetitive trauma to the muscle (baseball players, painters, etc.). Rotator cuff tears may involve either operative or non-operative treatment. Surgery is often the last resort to repair the torn tendons, and the exact type of operation may depend on several factors, including the degree of tendon disruption, location of the tendon tear, and physical activity of the patient. A sling for shoulder surgery is used, however, after the operation. Surgical recovery may take as long as three to six months, with the shoulder sling worn for the first one to six weeks. For those suffering from mild rotator cuff tears, non-operative treatments may be considered. These options may include oral medications, cold and hot packs, anesthetic injections, and the use of shoulder immobilizers or shoulder slings, specifically a rotator cuff sling, which provides comfort and helps minimize the pain brought about by the rotator cuff tear.

The shoulder joint is comprised of three separate bones, the scapula (shoulder blade), the humerus (upper arm) and the clavicle (collar bone). The intricate collection of muscles that are associated with shoulder mingle with other joints and parts of the body. When shoulder pain strikes, often as a result of injury, it can radiate through other body regions and cause a great deal of discomfort. The proper evaluation and treatment of a shoulder injury is essential to relieve painful symptoms and regain range of motion.

Common Shoulder Injuries requring a Shoulder Support Brace

While there are several bones associated with the shoulder, most injuries involve the ligaments, muscles and tendons. The most common shoulder injuries arise from repetition and over use. These injuries are common among athletes that frequently use their shoulders in the same motion, like swimmers, tennis players and baseball players, or in the workplace where daily activities, like lifting, are common.

Physicians classify shoulder injuries in two separate categories, instability injuries and impingement. Instability injuries arise when the shoulder is moved into an undesirable position, which can make it susceptible to dislocation or separation. In an impingement injury, the muscles of the shoulder rub against the boney areas or ligaments and tendons are pinched within the shoulder socket.

According to the U.S. National Institutes for Health, the most common shoulder injuries involve the rotator cuff (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/rotatorcuffinjuries.html). This muscle grouping encapsulates the interior of the shoulder and allows for a full range of arm motion. Rotator cuff injuries, like most shoulder injuries, are most commonly caused by overuse, but can also arise with age from the breakdown of elasticity.

Dislocation or separation of the shoulder requiring a shoulder dislocation brace, where the joint becomes dislodged from its secure position, is an especially troubling instance of injury. While separations are typically a temporary condition, where the joint will return to its original position without prompting, dislocations must often be reset by a healthcare practitioner.

Other common shoulder injuries include:

  • Sprains – a stretched or torn ligament
  • Strains – a stretched or torn muscle or tendon
  • Tendinitis – inflammation of the tendon
  • Fractures – a complete or partial broken bone
  • Arthritis – joint inflammation
  • Bursitis – the inflammation and irritation of the bursa
  • Frozen shoulder – loss of shoulder motion due to swelling

Shoulder Brace for Basketball & Football Shoulder Braces

The first step in treating your shoulder pain from a basketball or football related injury is to be thoroughly evaluated by a physician. Through a series of diagnostic tests, like palpation, radiological tests and manipulation, the physician can determine the source of the pain, to create an effective treatment plan. Physical therapy, including active exercise therapy, is a common method of treating shoulder injuries. Physical therapists will often apply hot and cold therapies, ultrasound heat therapies and a series of simple exercises to your treatment plan, in conjunction with recommending a sports shoulder brace.

In addition to physical therapy, a physician might also order a splint or athletic shoulder brace that should be worn consistently or during activity. This is especially the case if the treatment requires surgical intervention, where immobilization is often essential to recovery. The use of a shoulder splint splint, brace or immobilization device, is highly effective in providing an efficient environment for healing a sport related shoulder injury.

If your physician has ordered a splint, brace or immobilization device to treat your shoulder injury or one is necessary for recovery from a surgical procedure, it is important to have the proper device for your condition. There are several different types of shoulder braces and braces, which provide different levels of support to regions of the shoulder.

Commonly, you might be expected to wear the splint, brace or immobilizer for an extended period of time, so proper fit and comfort are essential. After all, a brace won't be very effective if it is too uncomfortable to wear regularly.

 
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