Best Shoulder Wraps Reviewed For Athletes Who Ache
Some of the injuries that occur are dislocated shoulders and rotator cuff injuries. A dislocated shoulder is when the bone of your arm comes out of the socket. It can be incredibly painful until it is put back in. With each dislocation, it makes it easier to become dislocated again.
This is the same for rotator cuff injuries. These injuries are in the muscles that are located around your shoulder. If these are injured or inflamed, your shoulder cannot stabilize. These muscle tears happen frequently when you are grappling and pulling your opponent around.
Wearing a shoulder brace is important as your shoulder area is unstable and inflamed. Inflammation is when the deep tissue of that muscle become irritated and hot. A shoulder brace can help to keep all the muscles in your shoulder in the right place. This will greatly help speed up the healing process as your muscles.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Use with cold/hot packs
Easy to wear
- Babo Care Stability
- McDavid Thermal
- Natracure Hot Cold
- Shock Doctor Ice Recovery
- Celebrity MMA
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. Babo Care Stability
Light and comfortable
Streamlined against body
This product comes with a streamlined design that does not make it look bulky. There is a strap that runs right across your chest that is also adjustable. This makes it significantly easier to tighten or loosen the product to wherever you want it without moving your injured shoulder. It has an extra pad on the curve of your shoulder to prevent it from becoming further injured.Read more
There are many companies out there that have created these sort of products to help people. However, most of them are large and chunky. If worn over a long period of time, they become very hot and uncomfortable. This product is made with Neoprene material, which is incredibly light. This means it won’t drag down on your shoulder and leave it even sorer than it was, to begin with.
As a combat fighter, you sustain many different injuries over the years. A common ailment is that many fights have is easy dislocation of the joints. To prevent the dislocation from occurring as often, many fighters have started to use wraps. This particular item can keep the pressure on your shoulder so it stays in place. This will decrease the chance of your shoulder popping in and popping out during a fight.
2. McDavid Thermal
Use with cold/hot packs
Easy to wear
Slightly more expensive
This is a product that is not like any of its competitors. While the shoulder wrap is a great way to stabilize your shoulder while training or in fights, it also helps heal existing injuries. Using a cold compress or a hot pack with this wrap is greatly decrease the amount of time needed heal completely. The wrap can keep your healing pads in the proper position so that you receive the therapy you need.Read more
Most shoulder wraps are made with a mixture of fabrics. One of the most commonly used materials is Latex. Having this material in the brace makes it easier to clean and also more hygienic. However, there are many people that are allergic to Latex. As a result, this product has found substitute materials that can eliminate the use of this allergenic.
For one of these products to be truly effective, it needs to be a snug fit on your shoulder. Wearing one that is too tight will cut off blood circulation while wearing a loose shoulder wrap will do nothing for your injury. This product comes with a velcro enclosure that allows you to adjust for a perfect fit. This will help keep you stabilized throughout your exercise.
3. Natracure Hot Cold
Adjustable arm band
Manual air pump
A little bulky due to the gel pack
The creators of this product have put a lot of thought into the design of the product. One of the most important things to note is that it is made with a soft fabric that will not create discomfort after long periods of use. The wrap is also suitable for left or right shoulder use and can be easily adjusted. The arm strap that is included has a velcro enclosure, allowing you to secure it for a perfect fit.Read more
This item has a unique feature and that is a built-in air pump. When your shoulder is feeling sore or recovering from an injury, it can feel stiff after a period of nonmovement. This item has a tube which is attached to a manual hand pump where you can change the pressure underneath the wrap. This gives the product some compression abilities to keep the blood flowing and moving.
There is a gel pack that is sewn into the fabrics of this shoulder wrap. This allows the product to both work as a support and also have therapeutic properties to help your healing. When lightly microwaved, the gel pack acts as thermal therapy for your sore muscles. Another option is to pop the shoulder wrap in the freezer where it can be frozen. This will act as an ice pack and help cool your inflamed muscles down.
Adjustable and customizable
Comfortable to wear
Extra shoulder support
Looks different from other wraps
This is a product that is designed so that it can be used on either shoulder. There is a strap that can be adjusted to fit chest sizes up to fifty-two inches. This item uses mostly velcro to keep the entire system from moving around once you wear it. There are also two perfect fitting slots where the gel packs can be strategically placed over your injured area. The long strap that goes across your chest is made of a soft fabric that that that makes it comfortable to wear.Read more
Sometimes an injury is not severe enough where you feel the need to have a gel pack on it. However, having the extra shoulder support will prevent you from aggravating it further. This product has removable packs so that if you want to use it as a stabilizer, you can. The individual packs can also be heated or frozen so that you can do hot and cold therapy at the same time.
One of the most important things for these products is to be durable. Because you are already uncomfortable and not feeling well, it is important that this wrap does not fall apart. This particular product is created with a patented fabric known as Active Medical Plush. It is a high-performance fabric that will not rip or tear easily. It can also withstand the constant cold or heat from the gel packs and will not damage the integrity of the wrap.
Good quality material
Slightly rubbing if holding arm too close to body
The manufacturer of this product has put a lot of thought into the design as it is much smaller than most shoulder wraps. It is thin enough to act as a second skin and does not have large pieces that bulge out. This particular product features a cuff that goes around the arm to keep the item in place. This prevents the wrap from moving up and down when you lift your down.Read more
Some combat fighters elect to be wearing the shoulder wrap even during training sessions or competitions. During these times, the wrap can become easily damaged if it is not made of good quality material. This particular product is made of Neoprene, which is incredibly tough and hard to rip. It is a very stretchy material that will not tear easily and can move with your body.
Anything that is worn all day long will develop a bit of smell regardless of whether you sweat or not. The skin that is underneath the wrap will also warp and wrinkle due to the lack of oxygen that is going through. There are tiny holes throughout this material so that it helps to maximize the amount of oxygen transfer. This can keep you comfortable and prevent your shoulder wrap from developing odors from your sweat or other fluids.
6. Shock Doctor Ice Recovery
Easy to wear
Simple to maintain
Ergonomic and comfortable
Sizes run big
The number one cure for inflammation across the board? Some ice, ice, baby. The best thing you can do is ice up an injury in order to encourage the muscle to cool down and release the heat that sore tissue can bring. The Shock Doctor Ice Recovery design is simple, beautiful, and helpful in multiple avenues. Let's explore it more below!Read more
This is a fantastic design for somebody who suffers from long-term damage. It'll help keep your shoulder and arm stabilized, which encourages stability through your rotator cuff. You will feel entirely secure with the highly customizable Z-grip closures provided. This allows you to position it exactly to your liking.
The best part, though? It's not actually the highly customizable nature of the Shock Doctor's design. In fact, it's actually the ability to ice yourself down. This is great both before and after workouts- or even during! You also have the ability to use heat therapy, which is fabulous. The combination of the two will keep you fighting fit and comfortably so for a while to come!
We can't recommend this design enough. If you want something that's highly supportive, allows for multiple therapies, and more, this is the model for you.
Can be tedious to assemble and reassemble
This is a fantastic item that is a must buy product. The wrap comes with an adjustable strap that allows you to get it to the perfect tightness. It also comes with removable gel packs which you can either choose to use or not. Depending on the area of injury, this product can have multiple ways of tying and comes with a list of instructions. It can fit both left or right arm and is a product you cannot miss!Read more
Most of these shoulder slings come with properties that allow you to use cold or hot packs with them. For people who have used these packs before, they will agree that it becomes either too warm or too cool quickly. This product has an extra insulation layer sewn into the sling so that your packs will stay colder longer. It can also help retain extra heat if you are trying to relax the muscles in that area.
It can be incredibly frustrating when one of these wraps do not fit well. When a shoulder sling does not wrap flush around your shoulder, it causes uncomfortable bunches and also increases the chances of the sling catching on something. This product was designed to be form fitting so no edges or corners stick up or poke out. This allows you to wear it comfortably and still be able to move.
For all sized people
Extra stretch band
Left and right arm
Runs a little small
This is a great shoulder sling that fits all sizes. There is a long adjustable strap that allows you to tighten it to fit comfortably. This is a product that is ideal for both men and women and can work for a host of shoulder injuries. It comes with a short arm sleeve that helps keep the sling in place so that you can move around while keeping the shoulder supported.Read more
It is important for products like this one to be stretchy as there is a lot of expected movement when it is worn. Regardless of whether you are exercising or just going through your day, your shoulder is one of those areas that move a lot. This particular product uses an elastic material that allows for movement and flexibility while keeping your shoulder in place. This allows your muscles to heal without being restricted.
Your skin is the largest organ on your body and needs oxygen like the rest of you. Wearing a shoulder sling greatly reduces the amount of oxygen that is able to pass through. To help with this problem, this item has tiny holes dotting the entire fabric. This allows for much more oxygen transfer and keeps your skin from developing a rash or become irritated.
Holds shoulder in place
Extra compression sleeve
Easy to wear
This is a product that was for users by users. The manufacturer had listened to a lot of feedback from their initial product and produced one that fits well and is much loved. This is a popular design because it keeps the shoulder completely supported until it is completely healed. It also looks great being worn underneath your clothes or on top. It does not make your shoulder seem extra bulky and is comfortable for long periods of time.Read more
One of the best ways to help your shoulder heal from an injury is a compression sleeve. These help encourage the pooling blood to move along and deliver fresh oxygenated blood. This improves blood circulation to speed up the healing process. This particular product comes with a compression sleeve that you can detach from the main shoulder sling.
A shoulder wrap is rendered moot if it does not stay on your shoulder properly. Even the smallest movement can cause more damage to shoulder or aggravate your injury again. To prevent that from happening, this product includes an extra latch strap compared to other shoulder wraps. This will ensure that your shoulder is completely immobilized until the muscles heal.
10. Celebrity MMA
Easy to wear
Does not come with gel packs
This product great for people of all sizes. It comes with multiple adjustable straps so that it becomes a customized fit for everyone. It can be worn on both the left or right arm. The bottom of the sleeve also has a velcro wrap which can help keep the sling in place. Coupled by the fact the fabric is soft and comfortable to wear for long periods, this is a product you do not want to miss!Read more
These slings can get quite dirty and gross after wearing it for a long period of time. It mixes with your sweat and any topical creams you are using. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to clean it until your shoulder heals completely. To prevent some of the germs and bacteria from developing in the sling, this product comes with holes in the material so that moisture can be evaporated from underneath the fabric.
It can be incredibly frustrating and painful to move your shoulder when there is an injury. Unfortunately, many shoulder wraps restrict your movement once it is worn. This product features a lightweight design that does not restrict your movement. You are able to move your arm and shoulder comfortably. The product simply keeps your muscles in your rotator cuff stabilized and supported.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
One of the most important things when choosing a shoulder wrap is to know what kind of material the product is made of. Avoid fabrics such as cotton or nylon as it is incredibly fragile and does not suit this purpose. While these are often fabrics that are included in your clothing, a shoulder wrap is different because it is expected to work while worn. This can cause a lot of chafing and pulling on the material. Purchasing something made of cotton or nylon will simply add to speeding up the wear and tear.
The ideal material your shoulder wrap should be made with is Neoprene. This is the same material that your wetsuit is made with. It can keep you cool and dry through all sorts of weather but is also very durable. It is stretchy and even if you end up moving your shoulder around a lot, the flexibility will prevent the fabric from tearing.
Neoprene is also very lightweight, meaning that it will not add extra stress on your already injured muscles. People who have worn a wetsuit can attest to the fact that these slide onto you like a second skin. Choosing a shoulder wrap made of Neoprene will give you the same properties, in that the shoulder sling will be like a second skin. The compression feeling from the material also makes it incredibly comfortable to wear while holding your muscles in place so they can relax.
Ease of Use
When you are injured, the last thing you want is to have to put your stabilizer on like some sort of contraption. When you are shopping around, try to find something that is easy to put on. A shoulder injury more or less means you will not have the movement of one arm. This means the product needs to be easy enough to manipulate with one arm and be worn.
Unless you always have someone around you that can help you, it is crucial you find one that doesn’t need to be assembled like a jigsaw puzzle. Ideally, the shoulder brace should have velcro enclosures as it will make it easy to customize and adjust to the size you want. But it should also not have multiple straps that require threading in and out. You want to be able to have something that can be slid on and secured with minimum movement to your shoulder.
When you are purchasing a shoulder brace, maintenance should be something that is considered. There are products out there that may be fantastic, but a complete pain to keep clean. While shopping for a good product, try to look for something that can be popped into the washer and dryer. While these may be more expensive or hard to come by, an alternative is something that is made with fabric that is easy to dry. Many shoulder wrap products have materials that can be hand washed with warm soapy water. Once it is washed, simply dry it by hanging it up on a rack. After it is dried, put it away until you need it again.
One of the most important things to look for when purchasing a shoulder wrap is how well it breathes. This does not mean the product will suddenly sprout a nose and start breathing. It means how much air is able to transfer through the product. Many people find that after wearing the shoulder wrap for a long period of time, the skin underneath is a slightly different shade. Often times the shoulder brace is taken off, the skin underneath is also a bit dry and wrinkly.
This is effected by the breathing ability of the product. Our skin is the largest organ on the human body and needs oxygen to run smoothly. A lack of oxygen can lead to decaying and flaking of our skin. While using the shoulder wrap to heal our injury, we must ensure we are not damaging other parts of our body in the process.
Many shoulder wraps have some sort of way for oxygen transfer, whether its mesh, or holes, or even cut out swathes, there is a way to allow the oxygen to enter. The most common sign for oxygen transfer is seen if there are tiny holes in the fabric. These holes were intentionally placed there so that there are more openings for fresh air to enter underneath the wrap. These tiny holes allow for positive air transfer, meaning hot air can leave and cold air can enter. This will help regulate your body temper and keep your skin fresh.
While this may seem like a surprise for shoulder wraps, it is actually something that is incredibly important. When you move, your body can generate heat. This can become incredibly comfortable if whatever you are wearing cannot ventilate. Many people who use shoulder braces are not just simply resting. Some may still be able to exercise. During these times, it is crucial for the shoulder wrap to have a way to get rid of the sweat produced. If the sweat stays on the skin it can cause skin irritation and rashes to develop.
This often happens because the sweat mixed with the materials from the shoulder wrap cause a chemical reaction. This can be easily avoidable if the sweat was removed immediately. When purchasing your shoulder brace, look for something that is made with dri-fit material. These are materials that can easily remove the sweat by taking any moisture and bringing it to the surface. Once it is on the surface of the brace you are wearing, it can simply be shaken off. This is known as moisture wicking and is a wonderful technology to have in your product. It eliminates significantly more sweat than products without it.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
A shoulder wrap can also help with compression. When your joints and muscles are inflamed, not much blood is getting through. This does not help your body heal as there is no more oxygen in the blood cells. The compression of the shoulder wrap can help encourage the blood to keep moving, thus re oxygenation of the cell and bringing more nutrients to the affected area.
Most studies show that dislocated shoulders come from previous injuries when you were growing up. Sustaining an injury in your rotator cuff during your pubescent years can determine how frequent your dislocations occur as an adult. When you hit puberty, everything in your body is growing and changing. However, these don't happen all at the same time. This can cause a disjoint while one part of your body has grown up and waiting for another part to catch up. During this period, it makes it much easier for you to sustain injury. Your shoulder could have dislocated from a small bump simply because your rotator cuff and bone were at different growing stages and did not fit as well. These sort of dislocation experiences will follow you when you grow up and often make it easier for your shoulder to continue dislocating. This does not stop you from leading a full and eventful life, just occasional bumps along the way where you have to relocated your shoulder.
Other Factors to Consider
Combat fighting is fun and exciting, but every athlete that steps onto a fight have an increased chance of bodily injury. It is almost inevitable that these athletes incur some sort of injury throughout their sports journey. Some of the most common injuries occur in the shoulder areas due to the amount of grappling and arm swinging that occur. If an injury is sustained, the best thing to do is use a shoulder wrap to help your body heal.
There are many great ways that a shoulder brace can benefit your injured shoulder. Technology has advanced to a point where the shoulder wrap does not have to look giant and awkward when worn. Many of these braces will sit nicely against your shoulder and not make it obvious that you are with injury. This will help reduce the discomfort and self consciousness you may feel when continuing with your daily life. These braces are great as they do not contain medicinal properties and can be worn every time your shoulder feels a little sore.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Where can I buy a good shoulder brace?
Most supermarkets or large sporting warehouses will care quite a few options for you to choose from. For more serious injuries, physio stores or pharmacies may carry some as well. If none of these places have ones you really like, then perhaps consider an online retailer. Online stores are not restricted to the physical size and amount of shelving they have, thus are able to carry more brands.
q: Can I still exercise if I’m wearing a shoulder brace?
Absolutely. Unless your arm is in a complete sling, you will still have full use of your shoulder. While it is not recommended to go one hundred percent on your exercise with an injury, it doesn't mean you cannot do a light workout. Most of these shoulder wraps are flexible enough so that you can move comfortable while wearing them.
q: How old do you need to be to wear one of these?
There is no age restriction on when you can wear a shoulder brace. If you have a child at home that has an injury, they are also able to use one. Depending on the one you purchase, it may be adjustable and fit your child as well. Being able to share the use of one will be able to help you save some money.
q: Are shoulder wraps any good?
Of course they are! Most shoulder injuries are able to heal on their own with proper rest. Wearing a shoulder wrap gives your muscles the opportunity to rest and recover rather than have to constantly hold your arm and shoulders up. A shoulder brace can also help prevent an old injury from happening again.
q: Can I use Kinesio Tape instead of a shoulder brace?
For very light and small injuries, you can choose to tape it up. However, most injuries include a lot of sore muscle and inability to lift or move your shoulder in a certain direction. For injuries such as those, it is best to use a shoulder brace to allow the muscles to completely rest.