Are you an athlete who’s hard on their body and is feeling the effects of the rigour of your workout? Maybe you have to sit at a desk all day long, and your back, neck and shoulders are feeling the tension and strain.
Are you a sloucher? There are many people who have spent much of their lives with their shoulders drooped and their back curved into a slouch.
Whatever your reason, you might be wondering about shoulder supports, how they work and if they could help you. Read more if you want to learn what you need to know about Shoulder supports to manage shoulder pain.
Regardless of the cause, you are probably feeling some shoulder pain. Are you wondering if getting some shoulder support would help make your shoulder area, neck and back feel better? Maybe your goal is to get rid of the slouch once and for all.
Common Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder braces could be used for support, to improve posture and to help aid in the recovery from an injury. It is advisable to talk to your doctor before starting to wear a brace. You don’t want actually to make an injury worse by treating it incorrectly.
Several common shoulder injuries would require the use of some form of shoulder brace. Let’s take a closer look at those.
The shoulder is one of the movable joints in the body. It can also be dislocated through a hard hit, fall or sporting event. Once the shoulder is dislocated, the injury requires a shoulder brace to secure the joint in place while it heals.
Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) Injuries
If you place one hand on the top of your shoulder and feel around, you will feel a small bump. This is your acromioclavicular joint. This joint can also dislocate or become injured with overuse, say if you are an athlete, for example.
If you sprain this joint, you will want to wear a brace to secure the joint and help with inflammation.
If you use your arms overhead frequently, you can develop small bony spurs in the rotator cuff tendons. These can be quite painful. A shoulder brace helps to secure the shoulder to allow it to heal.
Tears in the Rotator Cuff
You have a group of tendons called the rotator cuff in your body. This group of tendons helps to secure your shoulder. The shoulder becomes weak if the rotator cuff tendons are injured or torn. This can It can cause pretty significant shoulder pain.
A shoulder brace prevents the rotator cuff from tearing more and allows it time to be secure, so it can heal.
Surrounding the socket of your shoulder is a cushion protecting the shoulder joint called the labrum and this can tear if you fall or take a hard hit to the shoulder.
A shoulder brace would prevent further damage and allow time for the shoulder not to move and heal.
As you age or overuse the joint, you can develop arthritis. Overuse of the joint can exacerbate arthritis. Often a shoulder brace to secure the joint and allow it time to rest can help.
Risk of Shoulder Pain
The truth is anyone is at risk for a shoulder injury by the nature of the location and how the shoulder is used. Yet, there are some situations that increase the potential for risk with the shoulder.
Heavy use of your shoulders can put you at risk for shoulder pain or injury. As you grow older, you face an increased risk of arthritis in the shoulder.
If you exercise frequently or an athlete, your shoulders face a higher risk of injury because of how much you use them. The more repetitively you use them also increases the risk factors.
Frequently using your arms and shoulders for reaching up, as is required in some jobs also increase the risk of a shoulder injury.
What Is Shoulder Support?
Anytime you face a shoulder strain, injury or want to work on your posture, you might consider using shoulder support. Shoulder support is a type of brace. It can either secure your shoulder, so it is immobilized, therefore allowing it time to heal or gain strength.
It can also work to hold your shoulder in a certain position. This type of shoulder brace would help to position your shoulders to help you hold your posture better and straighter.
When Is Using Shoulder Support a Good Idea?
There are a variety of scenarios when using a shoulder brace is a good idea.
Perhaps you have experienced an injury like one of the ones already covered. You might need to secure your shoulder using the brace to prevent it from moving around. This helps prevent additional pain and can allow the shoulder joint and tendons time to heal from the injury.
If you are overusing the shoulder joint, you might also benefit from a brace. It helps to secure the shoulder to prevent continued wear and tear on it and to give it a rest. It can help with pain management and swelling too.
If you are hoping to improve your posture and give your body practice being in the right posture, you might also benefit from a shoulder brace.
How Does the Shoulder Support Work?
While the exact particulars depend on the type of shoulder support, they all basically will secure your shoulder and hold it in a secure position.
This prevents the shoulder from moving around. It can prevent further injury. Keeping the shoulder immovable also helps with swelling associated with an injury and also helps to manage pain. The less you move an injured shoulder, the less it will hurt.
In the case of a shoulder brace working to help with posture, the brace works with both shoulders in unison. It helps to hold them in place, in a good position to improve and develop better posture. This helps to train back muscles so they get stronger and can hold a straighter posture over time.
Is Shoulder Support a Good Idea When Sleeping?
The short answer is no. It’s not a good idea to wear the shoulder support brace while sleeping.
Now, if you have experienced a serious injury and your brace is prescribed by the doctor, follow the doctor’s orders. You don’t want to take it off to sleep if the doctor has told you otherwise. As part of managing a serious shoulder injury, it is advisable to move the shoulder less often the less you move the shoulder less often.
For help in healing or to improve posture, you might start out wearing the brace for a short period of time. Then you would slowly increase your wear time.
So, sleeping in the brace in most cases is not something you should do.
How Should a Person Wear Shoulder Support?
First, if you have any injury and have been prescribed a brace by the doctor, wear it following doctor’s orders.
If you are using a posture support brace, start wearing for small amounts of time. You want to use it to help increase back, neck and shoulder strength. When you wear it, those muscles develop and get stronger over time.
Wear it, then slowly increase the time to build strength in the back, shoulders and neck so over time you have the straight and aligned posture you desire.
If you are wearing a shoulder brace to support a chronic injury or to help with pain, wear as needed.
It’s important that no matter the reason, you wear the brace properly to avoid causing further injury or aggravation. Make sure you put it on correctly and keep it fit snugly.
Do Shoulder Supports Work?
Posture support braces can be very effective in helping retrain your back. Over time, from bad habits or sitting at a desk at work or even slouching while standing at work, you can lose good posture. The back, shoulder and neck muscles weaken. As you continue to practice bad posture, the situation only gets worse.
When you wear a posture support brace, it works because the weakened muscles gain strength from the support of the brace. It helps to hold your neck, shoulders and back in the correct posture, in essence, retraining those muscles over time.
For the posture support brace to work, you need to wear it properly and consistently.
If you are wearing a shoulder brace for an injury, it will work because over time, and your shoulder will heal and strengthen. The brace helps to keep the shoulder immovable so it can heal. It also works because it helps to manage pain and swelling.
Understanding the Value of Shoulder Support and a Shoulder Support Brace
If you have a should issue, consider looking into a shoulder support brace to help.
Whether you need a shoulder brace for an injury or to help improve posture, there’s no reason to suffer when a shoulder brace can help you.