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Arm Slings

Arm Sling Overview

Arm Slings keep the arm firmly against the body to minimize movement at the arm and shoulder while nursing an injury. Preventing movement also reduces pain and encourages healing. An arm sling is necessary following surgery or when there is a sprain, dislocation, or muscle tear. A sling like a shoulder immobilizer isolates the shoulder ligaments when the patient is recovering from a rotator cuff injury or surgery. It can also be worn with a cast to add support and reduce fatigue.

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Vitality Medical carries a variety of arm slings from major manufacturers such as Medline, DJ Orthopedics, and Cardinal Health. Choose from adult arm slings, kid's arms slings, and arm slings for shoulders, also referred to as shoulder immobilizers.

Arm slings are made out of a variety of breathable materials, such as mesh and polyester-cotton blend fabrics. The adjustable shoulder strap makes it universally sized, and it is fastened with a shoulder strap buckle or a hook-and-loop fastener to achieve the proper fit.


What Is the Purpose of a Sling?

After an injury, the body needs time to heal. With the arm supported, the entire length of the arm is protected to allow for healing. An arm sling supports the arm indefinately, but it also bolsters supporting areas that are injured, including:

  • Distal Forearm
  • Wrist
  • Hand
  • Shoulder
  • Clavicle/Collarbone


Common Mistakes When Wearing an Arm Sling

  • Improper angle. This means the arm is placed too low or too high. The elbow needs to be at a 90-degree angle. Smaller angles stress the arm and shoulder. A larger angle may put the arm at risk of falling out of the sling.
  • Removing the sling prematurely. This may ultimately increase the amount of healing time if the limb needs to be immobilized. Consult with a healthcare professional when incorporating exercise during the recovery process.
  • Sling straps are too tight. This will cause discomfort but may also lead to numbness or swelling in the hands and fingers. When the sling is tight, it may also restrict blood circulation. Proper blood flow oxygenates the tissues and delivers reparative nutrients to promote healing.
  • Sling straps are too loose. Loose sling straps will not give the support needed, and other regions will overcompensate, which can strain those muscle groups. Tighten the straps until the arm sits comfortably and the elbow rests at a 90-degree angle.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can arm slings be worn in the shower?
Yes, wear the arm sling if it minimizes pain while showering. Buying a second sling is helpful if the material takes time to dry. Or try covering the sling with waterproof material.

Can arm slings be washed?
Yes, slings do get dirty from regular use. Occasional washing may be necessary. Handwash the sling with water and mild soap. Rinse and allow the material to air dry. A backup sling may be helpful to rotate while it's drying.

Should the sling be worn while sleeping?
Depending on the injury, wearing the sling to bed may be recommended. When removing the sling, the patient should sleep on his/her back and place a pillow by the injured arm for cushion and support.

Can I drive with my arm sling?
No, driving while wearing a sling is not recommended as it may decrease response time when encountering a surprise on the road.

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