Buyer Guide

How to Properly Wear an Arm Sling: Crucial Mistakes to Avoid

While an arm sling is made to help you heal with the pain-free independence, it can also worsen the injury if you wear it the wrong way.

You’ll need some help from your caretaker to prevent any risk of pain.

Here is how to properly wear an arm sling at home and get the best out of them.

  • Your helper will gently slide your injured arm through the arm sling so that your elbow is tucked in the sling and the end of the sling covers your whole hand till your pinkie finger. While doing so, your elbow should be in front of you, horizontally, right above your belly button. It’s better if you support your injured arm by grasping it with your good arm.
  • Then your helper will fasten the straps, bringing one strap above your shoulder and one below the armpit. Fasten the main strap that comes above the shoulder with the Velcro so that your arm feels relaxed and well-supported. 
  • After that, fasten the other strap with the sling for a secure & snug fit.
  • Now one last thing is the triangle formed by straps behind your back should be between the shoulder blades. If it’s not, readjust the straps’ position to make it right, while grasping your injured arm with your good hand.

Instead, want to learn by watching a video? Here is how you put on an arm sling at home.  

How to Adjust Your Arm Sling: 4 Crucial Mistakes to Avoid When Wearing an Arm Sling?

Here are some common mistakes people make and worsen their injuries. 

Make sure you’re not one of them.

When the Sling is Too Loose?

If your sling is too loose, it will not serve the purpose of supporting your wrist, elbow, arm, or shoulder. Later, that will cause unwanted stress & strains, without you even knowing. Therefore, tight the straps so that the sling remains above your belly button well-supported & relaxed in front of you, horizontally. 

When the Sling is Too Tight?

When the sling is too tight, it will restrict the blood flow in your wrists or arm. If you feel cold, swelling, or numbness in the fingers, chances are your sling is too tight. Or, check the color of fingernails; if it’s pale or bluish, simply lose the sling just a little bit. 

Hanging Arm

Your injured arm should not hang too low; that’s pretty much self-explanatory, but people still overlook this factor. It can cause stress or strains on the injured arm and there is a good chance you’ll slip your injured arm out of the sling and put a baneful pull on your injury. Your injured arm should be above your belly button while the sling should hold it flat horizontally. 

Not Exercising

While it’s obvious the arm sling will stabilize your arm and restrict random movements, it does not mean you’ve to make your arm a complete statue. Exercising muscles around your injury will help build strength in the wrists or arm, maintain the blood flow, and even rescue you from completely freezing your shoulder—which is a lot more complicated and takes years to cure.

Now, what muscle exercises you should do while you’re wearing an arm sling? That’s something your doctor will guide you depending upon the type of your injury. 

How to put an arm sling with two straps?

Wearing arm slings is easier and risk free if you know how to do it. 

  • First, slide in your injured arm in the sling and raise to the shoulder.
  • Then with your good hand, support the injured to the desired position.
  • Fasten the main strap that comes over your shoulder. Then fasten the second strap that either goes around your body or comes through the armpit of the good shoulder (depending upon the type of your Arm sling)
  • Make sure the sling supports your arm and you feel relaxed. If there’s any thumb support strap, use it to prevent hand fatigue.

Tell us in the comments If this guide helps you wearing an arm sling properly

Mark Patinson

January 13, 2021