Finding The Best Shoulder Brace: All You Need To Know – 2018 Review

Choosing a shoulder brace can be daunting, particularly when there are hundreds of brands in the market. However, it does not have to be a difficult undertaking of you know exactly what you want. The best shoulder brace and support can be the difference between experiencing an agonizing pain and having a normal day. Read through this article for an insight on some ways to help you find the best shoulder brace, as well as the top five recommended products

What Should You Take Into Account When Finding a Shoulder Brace?

When searching for a shoulder brace, it is not just a matter of selecting the most-popular brand name or the best price. Instead, finding the right shoulder brace involves a plethora of factors concerning your chest’s size and why it is affected (e.g. instability, injury, etc.)

Knowing your body first will better gauge what will be the best shoulder brace to buy.

One great way is to first research any possible symptoms of your shoulder, so as to establish just what might be causing it to hurt or be weak. You might even need to consult with a physician if the matter is too complex for you to know. Once you discover what is bothering your shoulder, you can move on to selecting your shoulder brace for fitting.

That said, what should you look for in a shoulder brace? Here are some important points to take into account.

1. Type of Shoulder Injury

This is the first thing you ought to think about when searching. Many are used for different purposes, whether to treat arthritis, to rehabilitate sport injuries, or generally minimize shoulder strain when running.

As a runner, you’ll need to look into getting a shoulder brace specialized for your sport; here are the ones you might want to consider investing in:

Posture or Clavicle Related Injury:

If you spend a lot of time working at a computer or at your desk, there is the natural tendency of the shoulders to slump forward with time. Over time, this tendency can cause an impingement in the front of the shoulder joint. Needless to say, a clavicle or posture support can be a good solution.

Joint/ Rotator Cuff Injuries:

These shoulder braces hold your shoulder in place and provide soft tissue support through compression. Your choice of shoulder brace depends on the severity of the injury and the intended use. If it is a basic level injury, a stretch fabric support will work perfectly and its gentle pressure will prevent you from making sudden shoulder movements that could aggravate the injury.

If your injury is slightly more severe, a top level stretch fabric or moderate level neoprene shoulder brace would come in handy. For severe injuries, your physician will probably recommend immobilizing the shoulder for a period of time to prevent any further injury.

Arthritis/Frozen Shoulder:

The frozen shoulder is a very common condition affecting athletes and none athletes alike. With long periods of inactivity, the shoulder tends to become very stiff and painful to move. In this case, a heat therapy shoulder wrap is recommended since it gets blood flowing in the joint and loosens it up


2. Support Level

There are varying degrees of how much assistance you need from your shoulder brace. This list below offers the different levels for the item:

Basic Support:

These shoulder braces are normally smaller and can be made of light neoprene or stretch fabric. They are good for wearing during sleep or during a normal work day since they are fairly comfortable. When choosing a basic shoulder support to wear for long periods of time, it is advisable that one looks at the strap that holds the brace in place. Is it narrow or wide and where does it cut across the chest? Basic shoulder support braces are used for short, minor injuries, offering low assistance at a low cost.

Advanced Support:

Advanced shoulder braces made of neoprene normally cover more shoulder area and are made of thicker neoprene as compared to basic level braces. Some of the more comfortable fabric versions usually have more than a single strap. Durable and easy to adjust, advanced shoulder braces offer moderate support by reducing stress throughout the shoulder.

High Support:

The high support level shoulder brace is usually used for post-operative recovery or to completely immobilize the shoulder joint. A majority of high support braces are nor designed to be utilized for any sport or activity involving shoulder mobility.


3. Mechanism

After identifying the type of shoulder injury you have and the support level you need, the next step is to know the details of the brace, in order to know how it operates. Here are a few aspects you might need to look out for:

Shoulder Stabilizer.

A Shoulder stabilizer provides shoulder immobilization and an array of controlled range of motion for multi-directional, anterior, posterior and inferior instabilities, shoulder AC separation, rotator cuff deceleration and muscle strains. This kind if shoulder brace is designed to restrict, assist or stabilize movement of the shoulder post-injury and post operatively. The smooth, controlled restraint or assistance follows the natural movement of the joints and muscles.

Shoulder Sleeve

A shoulder sleeve is worn just like a shirt sleeve, where your hand just slips into it. Most of these products are designed to fit either the left or right shoulder and are perfect for the hard to fir areas of the lower and upper arm, shoulder, back and chest areas.

Shoulder Wraps.

There are adjustable wrap-arounds that help with compression and warmth. They serve for convenience since they can be slipped off and on easily.


Top Five Reviews of the Best Shoulder Support Brace

Now that you have done your research in finding the best shoulder brace to buy and wear, it’s time to go a notch higher and look at a few products. It’s by no means an exclusive selection but rather a way to help you get an idea of what works or doesn’t work for you and your body at large.

No matter your selection, know that it is essential to get your shoulder healed and back into doing what you love to do, namely, sporting!

1. Pro Ice Adult Shoulder/Elbow Cold Therapy Ice Wrap

via Amazon

This premium quality shoulder/elbow ice wrap not only targets the shoulder but also the upper arm and elbow. If you play any kind of sport that requires the use of your shoulder and upper arm, this Cold Therapy ice wrap is perfect for you.

This shoulder wrap provides great coverage from the back of the shoulder right through to the front, targeting all the crucial muscle groups. As a bonus, the brace’s arm cuff covers the triceps and biceps. This wrap applies firm compression and offers a customized fit to the afflicted part. It’s designed to help you recover faster from shoulder operations and injuries.


PROS

  • This shoulder wrap reduces pain, inflammation and stiffness on the desired part of treatment
  • It is the perfect treatment after a surgery for rehabilitation and a quick recovery.
  • Versatile for all sorts of injuries, such as shoulder bursitis, and rotator cuff strains among others
  • This brace is lightweight and easy to wash

CONS

  • The ice pack inserts can be tough for wearing with severe injuries or after surgery

2. O2 Cold and Compression Ice Wrap

via Amazon

Are you looking for a shoulder ice pack to help you recover from a basketball or football injury? The O2 shoulder wrap has got you covered. Shoulder pains and injuries can result in great discomfort but with this wrap, you can keep away all the shoulder pains.

This wrap comes with a pump to compress air and thus achieve the required shoulder pressure for faster relief. What’s even more convenient about this wrap is that you can wear it over clothes since it is completely leak proof.

This high-compression ice shoulder strap will hands down offer the most intense therapy and best compression for the shoulder. If you are a high-level athlete, require intense treatment or recovering from serious shoulder injuries, this wrap is all you need.


PROS

  • Drip free fabric that allow breathing
  • Can be easily worn over clothes without ruining them
  • This brace straps securely to your shoulder
  • Has a pump to increase compression and alleviate pain faster.

CONS

  • The brace does not fit women with average size shoulders properly
  • Putting and taking off this wrap can be cumbersome if you are on your own
  • Doesn’t have full coverage on top of the shoulder

3. ActiveWrap Shoulder Wrap for Hot or Cold

via Amazon

This shoulder wrap is designed to be a 2-in-1 brace, a shoulder heat wrap and an ice wrap. It treats all aspects of the shoulder with its versatile thermal compression wrap. Being a heat and ice shoulder wrap all-in-one, this brace is designed for unrestricted movement and injury specific adjustments during usage.

This product is the pinnacle of utmost comfort for all shoulder sizes and is easy for you to slip into without any extra help. With its unique strap design, this brace covers the shoulder, delivering the cold therapy deep to where you need it most.

This ergonomically made shoulder ice and heat wrap is lightweight, delivers conforming cold/hot therapy to all parts of the shoulder. This wrap is ideal for rotator cuff injuries and any throwing or shoulder-dependent athlete


PROS

  • Lightweight
  • The wrap material is latex free, reusable and washable
  • Unique rotator cuff strap design delivers the cold to where you need it

CONS

  • Not suitable for large upper arms
  • This brace can be bulky and stiff for a post-surgical shoulder.

4. McDavid 207 Compression Shoulder Wrap

via Amazon

The McDavid 207 is a shoulder brace that wraps around your chest to offer optimal support to your upper back. This shoulder brace is designed to offer effective, safe, hands-free treatment for injuries with utmost convenience and comfort. This shoulder wrap boasts of an icy cold or hot therapy and an insulating neoprene material that helps maintain the desired temperature in the shoulder area.

This product integrates temperature therapy and compression therapy to great effect. If you have suffered an acute injury, you can instantly apply a cold compress with the shoulder wrap to reduce the pain and minimize swelling.

Applying a heated compression to the shoulder can be the solution to chronic joint pain since it improves blood flow to the affected area. This will help the body get rid of any cellular byproducts and relax your shoulder muscles.


PROS

  • This brace provides heat treatment for chronic injuries
  • Has an adjustable chest strap
  • Neoprene material offers flexibility and long durability
  • This shoulder wrap offers hands-free injury treatment

CONS

  • They product’s gel packs are not completely microwave safe
  • To heat the gel pack, you will need to place the pack in boiling water for several minutes which is quite inconvenient

5. EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace (Medium)

via Amazon

The EVS Sports SB04 is a top-of-the-line sports shoulder brace that offers support and compression while allowing for a full range of movement. This shoulder brace will keep your shoulder in an optimal position which provides relief from chronic pain and reduces muscle tension.

This brace is made from high-tech materials that breathe and feel natural on your bare skin even without stretching out and losing its compression capabilities over time. Besides, the brace’s adjustable level of elasticity makes it an ideal option if you want shoulder support while you are exercising or working out.

The EVS Sports SB04 offers both impact protection and support in a low profile design for all day comfort. The product features a neoprene support along with a heavy duty molded nylon shoulder cup that helps protect your shoulder from direct impact. The SB04 adjustable D ring closure at the bicep area accommodates various size arms with ease and minimizes chaffing.


PROS

  • The adjustable straps offer customized fit and are used to fine tune the amount of support
  • Offers optimal impact protection and support
  • This brace allows full freedom of shoulder motion in any direction
  • Neoprene supports provides compression and retains warmth for healing.

CONS

  • People who are unfamiliar with shoulder braces can have difficulty figuring out how to use the brace

Winner: #2 EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace (Medium)

Although it was a close call, ultimately, EVS Sports SB04 Shoulder Brace (Medium) did it for me. What made this brace stand out from its competitors was its ability to offer maximum impact protection, compression, and extra shoulder support, which was a huge bonus.

While wearing it, I experienced no shoulder movement restrictions and definitely maximum shoulder stability. On the technical level, this shoulder brace was good to wear for more than two months, since my injury needed a longer time to heal. Support level was on the advanced side, since I was able to use it for most of my moderate level activities.


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