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Shoulder Immobilizer

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What is a shoulder immobilizer?

A shoulder immobilizer is a device used to keep your arm from moving while your shoulder heals. It is different from a sling because it keeps your arm close to your body. An immobilizer usually has a chest band, an arm band, and a wrist band. Each band will be attached to the chest band. This helps keep your arm from moving up, down, or away from your body.

Shoulder Immobilizer

How do I use a shoulder immobilizer?

Your healthcare provider will teach you how to put on your immobilizer. The following are general guidelines to help you remember what your provider teaches you:

  • Place the chest band where you want it to be. Your device may have a specific part that goes on the side of the injured shoulder.
  • Wrap the chest band around your body. The band should be snug but not too tight.
  • Hook the wrist strap to the chest band. Wrap the wrist band around your wrist. Make sure your hand can move freely. You will need to move your hand and wiggle your fingers to prevent stiffness.
  • Hook the arm band to the chest band, under your armpit. Wrap the short end of the arm band around your arm, right above the elbow. Pull the long end of the arm band behind your back. Secure it to the back of the chest band.
  • Attach the shoulder strap to the front of the chest band. Attach the band on the side of your body that is not injured. The buckle should be on the front of your body. Take the other end of the strap up and over the shoulder that is not injured. Attach it to the chest band behind your back.
  • Use the buckle to adjust the shoulder strap into the correct position. Your arm will be at about a 90 degree angle in front of your body.

When should I call my doctor?

  • Your arm, hand, or fingers become swollen, numb, painful, or pale.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.