After long periods of tireless working, the holiday season is finally here. The long-awaited vacation kicks in, and you finally get some time off to enjoy with family and close friends. An adventure through the woods ensues, as you look to make the most of this short time off your usually stuffed schedule. Just like in the movies, you arm yourself with the complete picnic gear, featuring a high-end camera
among other tour necessities.
Fast-forward to the actual trip: everyone is excited, taking photos of the picturesque landscape. Each person wants to document this memorable tour; hence multiple pictures are taken. Then suddenly, as one of you tries to climb a higher place to get a beautiful, panoramic view to store in their camera, they accidentally trip and fall. Without warning, an event that seemed like paradise turns sour. Upon examination, you identify that the injured person suffered shoulder dislocation, and is in urgent need of first aid. Luckily, you still remember the Red Cross drills you undertook while in college, so you lay them on a picnic blanket
and patch up a makeshift support mechanism using sticks and strings.
In such a situation, a shoulder immobilizer would have been priceless. Designed to support the shoulder and arm while offering comfort, immobilizers, just like knee braces
, prevent further dislocation. Though relying on Mother Nature as mentioned above may be handy in certain scenarios, immobilizers trump on them as they are accredited by nearly all leading orthopedics in the health and wellness industry.
As the saying goes, “experience is the best teacher.” Having undergone such a gruesome experience, you’ll want to be adequately equipped next time you go out on a field trip. Thus, the first item on your checklist will be a fully-fledged first aid kit to take care of such emergencies should they arise. A shoulder immobilizer is also a no-brainer.
The current market has a myriad of options regarding immobilizers, catering to individuals of all age groups from kids to adults. Our team conducted a thorough analysis of what the market has to offer in this niche and identified the industry leaders. Once you go through our in-depth guide, you’ll be well-informed on the various choices at your disposal.
It’s a general inclination in business that you get what you pay for. True to this trend, the shoulder immobilizer market is no different. Hence, woven and ergonomically-designed immobilizers tend to command higher prices than their polyester counterparts or those with simplistic designs.
With about $13, you can get your hands on basic shoulder immobilizers. The more decorated options have higher price ceilings, going up to around $32. That being said, we definitely favor the upper half in the pricing range, as they are more durable and well-equipped to carry out the job at hand. Although it’s possible to get dirt-cheap shoulder immobilizers, we do not recommend them. They are made with flimsy material and you don’t want something that won’t offer what it promises.
Upon identifying the items that fall within your intended budget, the next appropriate step would be to evaluate their outstanding features to separate the wheat from the chaff. This should be done with utmost keenness, as modern manufacturers go out of their way to make their products more appealing to prospective customers.
You should be on the lookout for the following when on a shoulder immobilizer buying mission:
- Type - What is the nature of the material used? It can be elastic, polyester, polyester blend, or even non-woven in some cases.
- User - Who is the intended target for the immobilizer? Is it meant for young ones or grown-ups?
- Size - The type narrows it down to either kids or adults. Regarding size, these broad categories are split into smaller ones such as infant, pediatric, and youth in the case of children, and medium, large, and extra-large among the adults.
- Weight – What is the mass of the immobilizer?
- Design Features - These vary from brand to brand, as each manufacturer has a different way of designing the straps.
When you’re done with assessing the features, it goes without saying that you test them out to see whether the product is worth spending on.
Construction and Design
In this area, size matters. Different individuals have varying arm sizes; hence this is an aspect that should be put into consideration. If overlooked, the immobilizer may not be useful, as it’s meant to secure the arm tightly. Thus, if it’s too big, the arm will easily swing, rendering it useless. Conversely, if it’s too tight, it ends up being an inconvenience rather than a remedy.
Since immobilizers are meant for injured persons, they should be made in such a way that they are comfortable. Bulky variants often come with more support, but they strain the wearer. On the other hand, lightweight immobilizers are flexible, allowing the user to maintain an active lifestyle even after injury (especially those without restrictive straps). However, their nature means that they offer less support.
Performance and Ease of Use
Modern immobilizers are equipped with a myriad of ergonomic features, all in a bid to make the recuperation process tenable. A majority of designs use medical-grade fabric that’s not only soft, but also breathable. This ensures that the secured arm feels fresh at all times, particularly for patients with open wounds. Also, the fabric is elastic, another aspect that enhances comfort, hence speeding up the recovery process.
Besides ergonomics, the material used should be easily washable, as well as long-lasting. It would also be great if the immobilizer is adjustable, because this increases the number of people it can serve.
We looked at brands that specialize in medical equipment to make sure you get the best results, and we compared prices to make sure you can find an option within your budget. We chose shoulder slings for both children and adults, since the sizes vary greatly. Now that you have a better idea of what to expect, let’s go ahead and move on to our reviews.
Consider the severity of your injury and consult a doctor when considering what type of shoulder immobilizer you should purchase. Higher-end versions are often more comfortable and supportive, making them better choices for severe injuries and long recovery periods. Whatever shoulder injury you've gone through, there's a good chance these brands have an option for you.