Remember that one time when just after lunch a patient walked into your clinic for their 1:30pm appointment complaining about their sore and dysfunctioning shoulder? During the weekend they injured their shoulder and now the pain was getting wayyy too unbearable.
Like any good physiotherapist, you assessed the reason behind the pain and found out that the patient desperately needed a supportive brace to help heal the shoulder injury and to help keep it stable.
“Thanks so much - I’ll get on that asap! But there’s so many braces out there, do you have any recommendations?”
Ummm - that’s a very good point. There are actually so many braces available on the market that picking out just one to help heal an injury can get super confusing!
As a registered physiotherapist and clinic owner in Toronto, I treat a variety of patients (sports, wcb, mva, private) and believe in offering complete care at my own practice. Offering “complete care” includes recommending helpful advice and products that can boost your patient’s recovery.
Today I want to share my opinion on what I like/don’t like about CSC's top 10 best selling shoulder braces, as well as which type of patients are most suited for these shoulder supports so we can better help clinicians offer complete care for your practice.
The Breg Slingshot 3 Shoulder Brace is a cost effective brace which has an extra under arm sling which removes pressure from the neck to relieve stress. It’s made particularly to keep the arm in proper positioning to speed up the healing process. This shoulder support can be worn on either arm and is available in four different sizes.
With its easy to wear, quick release straps, this brace is suitable for patients with general shoulder pain, patients who have dislocated their shoulder, and patients with rotator cuff injuries.
An alternative product which offers similar support and comfort and also happens to be a cheaper option is the Breg Sling and Swathe Universal.
The Procare Quick Release Shoulder Brace is a cheap, lightweight and breathable brace which includes built in thumb loops that add increased comfort for the wearer. Made from a special mesh material, the shoulder support allows air to circulate freely within the brace and encourages supportive rehabilitation for the wearer.
It is best suited for patients with shoulder pain and for patients that are recovering from hand or wrist injuries. An alternative product which is slightly more expensive but offer even better support to the shoulder and arm is the Procare Quick Release Shoulder Brace.
The DonJoy Sully Shoulder Stabilizer is specially designed to allow for shoulder movement within a safe range yet can also immobilize the shoulder as well. The Velcro straps makes it super easy to wear - and best of all - this brace is perfect to wear while playing sports.
The DonJoy Sully Shoulder Brace is best suited for patients with shoulder pain and shoulder instability. Clients who have rotator cuff injuries will also reap benefits of wearing this stabilizer which can significantly help increase the rate of rehabilitation.
An alternative product, which is a cheaper option but offer comparable support, is the DonJoy Shoulder Stabilizer This brace, although offers similar support, does not immobilize the shoulder in the same way or to the same effect that the DonJoy Sully Shoulder Stabilizer brace would.
The Procare Clavicle Brace is another cheap option for patients with shoulder instability and injury. One of the most promising aspects of this shoulder brace is the fact that it will not slide on skin when worn and will as a result not cause any chafing. It can be worn discreetly underneath clothing and acts as a posture brace to promote and maintain good posture.
This brace is best suited for patients with shoulder pain, poor posture, and rotator cuff impingement. This brae will also work well for clients who are currently recovering from clavicle fractures.
If this brace isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, the Posture S’port Brace is a great alternative.
The Posture S’port Brace keeps shoulder and the spine in a neutral position and has straps which are covered in soft fabric to increase comfort for the wearer and make wearing the brace a pleasant experience. In addition to the soft straps, this shoulder brace is available in three different sizes and can be worn both above and below clothing dependant on how discreet the wearer chooses to be. It can also act as a posture brace.
The brace is best suited to patients with back pain, poor posture, or clavicle injuries. A similar and cheaper option for the S’port brace is the Procare Clavicle Brace.
The ThermoActive Hot & Cold Shoulder Support is an affordable brace which offers a unique heat/cold therapy to maximize recovery. It applies compression around the shoulder joint and is designed with the wearer in mind so that they receive maximum comfort.
In addition to being easy-to-wear and comfortable, the brace has a reusable gel pack that can be cooled in the freezer or warmed in the microwave - adding a whole new level of convenience. This gel pack has the ablity to reduce swelling and is able to diminish the accompanying pain as well.
The ThermoActive Shoulder Support is best suited for patients suffering from acute shoulder injury. A similar product which is a topical cooling agent that helps significantly with the rehabilitation process is the Biofreeze Analgesic Gel.
The Shock Doctor Ultra Shoulder Support has a X-fit strap which allows the brace to properly fit to the counters of the wearer's body. This shoulder brace is made to be positioned in a way which correctly aligns the shoulder joint, thus aiding in customized recovery.
This shoulder support is lightweight and comfortable and comes in four different sizes for the patient to choose from. It’s best suited for patients with ligament strains in the shoulder, patients with rotator cuff injuries, as well as patients with shoulder instabilities.
If your patient is still looking for similar supports, the DonJoy Sully Shoulder Stabilizer Brace is another great option for enhancing shoulder support.
The Bauerfeind OmoTrain Shoulder Brace is a brace which supports joint movement and includes a soothing massaging effect which speeds up the healing process. This shoulder support can be worn on either shoulder and is very easy to apply and remove. It’s customizable in the way that it shapes and conforms to the wearer's body.
The shoulder brace is best suited for patients with osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint and patients who are in the recovery phase from a shoulder surgery.
An alternative product, which is cheaper but also helps limit movement of the shoulder joint, is the MedSpec Shoulder Immobilizer.
The DonJoy UltraSling IV Shoulder Brace has a strapping system which eliminates pressure on the neck. It also has a cushion which holds the shoulder in abduction. This comfortable and breathable shoulder support can be worn on either shoulder and is best suited for patients with a dislocated shoulder and patients who have recently had a shoulder operation. Clients can also benefit from wearing this brace if they have shoulder instability and shoulder strains.
An alternative product which is very similar but slightly more expensive is the Breg Slingshot 3 Shoulder Brace.
The Hyperice Shoulder Wrap is a shoulder support that offers compression and cold therapy and also allows for a greater range of motion and mobility while applying ice to the injured area. This particular brace is machine washable and can be worn on either side of the body.
The shoulder brace is best for patients with tendonitis, rotator cuff injuries, shoulder strains and is the perfect wrap for athletes and individual leading an active lifestyle!
An alternative to this wrap would be the ThermoActive Hot/Cold Shoulder Support. This shoulder support is a very similar product but it also has the ability to allow for heat to be applied to the injury in addition to cold.