There are three types of slings; arm slings, elevated slings, and 'Collar and Cuff' slings.
They can all be used to immobilise the forearm, shoulder or wrist.
Slings can also be used in the case of fractured collarbones, and in some cases to aid in the recovery of broken ribs.
Slings are also used as an emergency first aid, usually while waiting to get proper medical treatment.
If you have to give first aid to a person with a dislocated shoulder or a fracture, don't try and realign the bones yourself.
You can use a sling or a splint to immobilise the area, but try and do it without moving the shoulder about too much. You might cause more harm than good.
Another handy feature of slings is that they are highly visible. People will notice that you're using a sling, and people are thus extra careful not to bump into you!
If you're in a crowd the sling should give you lots more protection than you could get by just moving yourself, or others out of the way.
Making a shoulder sling
The way to make a basic shoulder sling is to take a triangular piece of cloth and place your arm over it such that the elbow is at one point of the triangle, and your wrist lies between the other two points.
The two points near the wrist are then brought up and tied together behind the neck.
There are quite a few variations to this sort of sling, but all of them have the desired effect of immobilising the shoulder effectively.
Shoulder sling warning
This immobility provided by a shoulder sling has the potential to work against your shoulder if you're not careful.
If your shoulder is inflamed, and you use a sling to immobilise it, you might find it so comfortable that you risk not using your shoulder at all.
A shoulder sling can be worn for anywhere up to 6 weeks or so depending on the injury.
In the case of shoulder bursitis, or Frozen shoulder, this would make the condition much worse with full blown shoulder immobility, inflammation, pain, and damage.
Wear a shoulder sling only after consulting with your physiotherapist, or doctor. They might offer you better solution as slings do in some cases cause shoulder stiffness.
Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain
Once your shoulder recovery is underway your doctor will probably advise you to do shoulder exercises to strengthen and rehabilitate your shoulder.
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