Picture of a woman athlete wearing a shoulder sleeve

Benefits of Shoulder Compression Sleeves for Athletes

Out of all the joints we move in our bodies, we move our shoulders the most. We use our shoulders to swim in the water, swing rackets & golf clubs, throw baseballs, lift weights, and so many other things. Sadly, there are several risks to performing all this motion with your shoulders. Athletes know this very well because they get injured more in the shoulder area than any other joint. As this kind of abuse continues, they develop shoulder pains which gradually get worse if left untreated. Most athletes don’t think about this and just “tough it out.” But you should never ignore any type of shoulder problem because your condition will only get worse if you do. Then you might end up with neck pain and back pain, too.

If you have an aching shoulder, then you need to protect it while performing your regular physical activities. A shoulder compression sleeve is the best method of protection because it stabilizes your shoulder joint without needing surgery.

Most Common Sports-Related Shoulder Injuries

There are 2 primary joints to the shoulder. The first is the acromioclavicular joint which connects the shoulder blade to the collarbone. The other is the glenohumeral joint which connects the shoulder blade to the arm bone.

When someone injures their shoulder, it isn’t usually their shoulder bone that is damaged. It is their ligaments, muscles, and tendons that end up getting hurt. Below are some examples of shoulder related injuries:

Rotator Cuff Damage

Your shoulder is stabilized by a small set of tendons and muscles known as the rotator cuff. In sports, most shoulder injuries are due to tearing tendons or muscles of the rotator cuff. This happens regularly to tennis players, swimmers, golfers, and baseball players. Some of the symptoms that occur include arm weakness, and shoulder achiness that runs deep.

Acromioclavicular Joint Injury

A separated shoulder can injure the acromioclavicular joint. This happens when you stretch or damage the ligaments which keep your shoulder blade and collarbone connected. An accidental fall or blow can cause this to happen. The results will be symptoms like swelling, bruising, weakness, or shoulder pain.

Shoulder Bursitis

Diagram of shoulder anatomy

In between your muscles, joints, tendons, and bones, you have tiny sacs of fluid called bursae. Bursitis is when the bursae get irritated or inflamed. If you have shoulder bursitis, then the bursae between the upper arm bone and shoulder tip are inflamed. This will cause limited motion and a lot of pain.

Shoulder Dislocation 

The shoulder socket secures the upper area of the arm bone. If this area pops out of the socket, then you have a dislocated shoulder. Some dislocations are more severe than others. You may suffer nerve damage or tissue damage in the shoulder area if the dislocation is too bad. Then you’ll end up with a deformed shoulder that looks out of place and is very painful.

Why Should Athletes Wear Shoulder Supports?

Picture of the Flex-Health Shoulder SupportAn injured athlete in recovery knows that training comes with a lot of risks. Doctors typically say that you need to put ice on the shoulder and get plenty of rest. But this isn’t going to heal your shoulder for the long-term, especially if you’re an active person. Recovery is hard on an athlete because they cannot train for weeks or months. Not only that, but there is an increased chance of prolonged stiffness. This means long-term immobilization.

If you want to recover from your injury faster and alleviate pain and discomfort at the same time, then you need to wear a shoulder support. There are several types of shoulder sleeves available, ranging from neoprene vests to super durable slings. The former protects the acromioclavicular joint while the latter limits your range of motion.

Technological advancements have grown exponentially over the last few decades. Now there are shoulder sleeves made from materials which are breathable for the skin and lightweight on the shoulder. They even have adjustable straps for further comfort.

Shoulder sleeves do the following:

  • Make the recovery process move along faster.
  • Help prevent your shoulder injury from getting worse.
  • Apply compression to the injured shoulder. This helps your brain comprehend your shoulder position better. Plus, your skin receptors are more enhanced.

During the rehabilitation process, a shoulder compression sleeve is quite helpful through the entire healing process. It keeps the shoulder protected and supported so that it reduces inflammation and swollen joints. Basically, a shoulder support takes the pressure off your injured muscles so that they don’t get irritated or overused.

Proprioception is increased by the shoulder brace too. This word describes how you sense the position of your body and its connected parts, such as the shoulder. For instance, if you close your eyes, you’ll still be able to find your nose or shoulder with this sense. But if your shoulder is dislocated completely or a little bit, then you have reduced proprioception. According to medical studies, shoulder sleeves can enhance proprioception.

Overall, shoulder supports may fix your posture and allow you to train again by giving your shoulder joints the added protection they need.

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