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In sports, one of the most common types of injuries are shoulder injuries. When you look at some of the loads that are normally placed on the shoulder while practicing activities like tackling, throwing as well as landing on an arm that is outstretched, it’s no surprise as to why injuries are quite a common occurrence. Labarum injuries are rated as the fifth most popular kind of injury experienced by high school athletes . This means that there are thousands and thousands of labrum injuries occurring on a weekly basis. As you already know, labrum injuries result to lost play time and can also result to lost time at school or work and possibly extended chronic dysfunction in future. Wearing a shoulder brace which is specially designed for sports happens to be one way for an athlete to get back in the field and at the same time reduce their chances of getting re-injured.
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Do You Need a Shoulder Brace?
This varies on whether you’re a weekend warrior whose shoulder has been giving them problems since the fell on it a few years or ago or even a high school senior athlete who wouldn’t want to miss the playoffs during their final year. You may have already had surgery and wouldn’t like to go through that again. Either way, you intend to get back to your normal activities and minimize the chances of getting re-injured.
Best Shoulder Braces for Torn Labrum
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Why Wear a Shoulder Brace?
There are various kinds of injuries which can benefit from wearing a shoulder brace. Normally, you would be expected to take time letting your labrum injury heal after an injury. Visit a physical therapist or doctor who will help you rehab it perfectly back to its normal functioning. Unfortunately, injuries don’t occur at convenient times.
The different injuries which may benefit from using a shoulder brace include a labral or SLAP tear, clavicle fracture, AC joint separation, shoulder dislocation, a tendon or/and muscle tear like a rotator cuff tear.
The main reason for wearing a shoulder brace in sports is to prevent any further injury. A brace should aid in reducing pain and not limit your performance while at the same rime reduce the chances of getting re-injured. However, a brace cannot fix a pre-existing injury but it can help your current injury from becoming worse. The overall rule is that most braces will provide more stability and try to limit your movement. Every brace has its own level of shoulder stability and should be selected depending on the position and sport. A linebacker might opt for the EVS brace because it provides more stability, while a volleyball spiker may go for the Babo Care brace because they’re required to raise the arm above the head in order to spike the ball.
Levels of Shoulder Brace Support
Level 1 Shoulder Brace – Compression-Alignment-Healing
The main purpose of the brace is focus on ‘Compression’ oriented designs. The products on this category provide light support for minor sprains, pain and strains allowing you to use the brace daily for a lengthy period of time. Compression offers joint alignment, soft tissue support, blood flow and therapeutic warmth.
Level 2 Brace – Support-Compression-Alignment-Healing
The braces here are used to maintain the benefits of those in level 1 by offering products which are designed to offer more ‘Support’ with options for adjustable compression fit and moderate stability features. The products here are meant for muscle strains, minor to moderate sprains and instable joints and are to be used as needed for recovery.
Level 3 Brace – Stability-Support-Compression-Alignment-Healing
Level 3 braces provide the athlete with support features inherent to the products on level 2, but offer ‘Stability’ using more integrated support features and advanced designs. The products on Level 3 provide medium stability and are intended for muscle strains, moderate to major sprains and unstable joints and are to be used as required for recovery.
Therefore, the important thing to remember when looking for a shoulder brace, is that you will not be able to move your arm as you normally would.
Best Shoulder Braces for Torn Labrum (Our Review Process)
After looking at all the braces available and being able to determine the kind of brace that is best for a particular injury and the overall best brace for all sports, the following are some of the main factors that led to the conclusion:
Does the shoulder brace do what it is designed to do?
This has to be the most important question amongst all. Will the brace really reduce any risk for getting re-injured and help you while playing sports? If it doesn’t, then you shouldn’t consider purchasing it. the various levels of support on the ranking system are meant to help you determine the type of brace that is best suited for you.
Shoulder Brace material
Is the material used to make the brace of high quality enough that it could take you through an entire sports season? Can it endure the grabbing and pulling that happens in the field amongst players? Most importantly, is the material used comfortable enough or its something that you’ll be in a rush to remove as soon as you’re from the field?
Is the Shoulder Brace Machine Washable?
This might be an important aspect to a mother but it is also vital because of the amount of dirt, sweat and germs that it will get, making it very helpful if its machine washable.
Does the shoulder brace fit perfectly under a jersey?
This factor may be more vital in some sports than others. When it comes to football, most of the shoulder braces found in the market can easily fit beneath the player’s shoulder pads and jersey. However, is this the same case for soccer, basketball and gymnastics?
How does the shoulder brace look?
One of the things you wouldn’t want to experience after purchasing a shoulder brace for yourself is having to hate how it looks and end up not using it even when you really need it. If the shoulder performs as required and looks sharp as well, then you are more likely to use it.
Can you use a shoulder brace in your everyday life and also in sports?
When the injury is still sore and fresh, will you be able to wear it under a shirt at school or work? You’ll definitely want to have the ability to calm the ache on your torn labrum after an injury.
How to Wear a Shoulder Brace
Sports Shoulder Injuries that May Require Wearing a Shoulder Brace
Nobody would like to have a torn labrum but unfortunately, they often occur. A number of the injuries discussed below can heal over time, while others will require you to take sometime off to rehabilitate them, and in severe cases, you might need immediate surgery.
If your injury is very severe that you’ll need surgery but at the same time is not a severe fracture, you can find out from your surgeon whether you can simply complete the season while using a shoulder brace. In some cases, like that of a dislocated shoulder, the surgery can be postponed if the torn labrum is well protected and the athlete can endure the pain.
Fracture/ Broken Bone
The most popular areas for an upper arm fractures to occur are the Humerus bone and the Collar bone. Most of these types of injury need rest and could get worse if you continue participating in sports. The injuries normally result from being tackled or falling on the shoulder. You’ll likely benefit from using a shoulder brace when your fracture is still new and you require some extra padding.
AC Joint Separation
This is a “Separated Shoulder”. It often occurs when the ligaments connecting the Acromion (the shoulder blade) and the collar bone are torn and in turn ends up displacing the collar bone. In most cases, the athlete will not require surgery but will experience a lot of pain. Other kinds of injuries such as being tackled or falling on the shoulder can cause the same injury. If the athlete is experiencing persistent pains, they can benefit from using a shoulder brace as they hope for full recovery.
This is experienced when the Glenoid Labrum tears. The labrum assists in deepening the shoulder socket, as well as stabilizing the shoulder where the long head of the biceps are attached and also aids in regulation pressure within the shoulder joint. When a SLAP tear is experienced, the athlete can experience pain when throwing a ball, bearing weight on the arm or trying to reach into a ninety/ninety position. The injury may be as a result of repetitive throwing motions, being tackled while the arm is behind or positioned across the body. The athlete can benefit from using a brace depending on the level of injury since the brace might limit external rotation of the shoulder especially when the are is in provocative positions.
During most shoulder dislocations, the head of the shoulder is normally displaced forward. The shoulder will then need to put back into place which is normally a painful experience. A brace can be used in cases where re-dislocation and getting back to the sport causes high levels of pain. However, depending on the athlete’s age, recurrent dislocations are a common occurrence. Normally, they are experienced when on e falls on an outstretched arm or the arm was pulled from behind during a tackle.
A Bankart Lesion is normally experienced when the back side of the shoulder is dislocated causing it to hit the Glenoid very hard resulting to a fractured or dented Glenoid rim. This can occur when the Hill-Sachs Lesion is damaged at the back part of the shoulder’s head. You can wear a brace if you’d like to continue playing.
Rotator Cuff Tear or Pathology
Rotator cuff tears are not common in young athletes but can be a daily occurrence to an older weekend warrior. The rotator cuff comprises of four muscles and their corresponding tendons. A rotator cuff tear makes it hard for one to lift their arm and there might be noticeable weakness. Normally, they are experienced when one falls on their shoulder or even repetitive overhead activity.
Shoulder Sprains and Shoulder Strains
Ligament sprains and muscle strains are a common occurrence to any athlete. Most times, the injuries heal by themselves especially if their severity is mild or moderate. You can use a sports brace if you don’t want to miss the next game or you don’t want the torn ligament or muscle to progress while healing.
Best Shoulder Braces for Torn Labrum (Review)
1. EVS Shoulder Sports Brace
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The EVS shoulder brace is easily our favorite for returning and playing sports, especially contact sports. It will provide you with maximum shoulder support in cases of collisions and impact. You can wear it on both the right or left arm and the best part is you will not need assistance when putting it on or tacking it off. The material used in making it is breathable and comfortable, yet durable enough so as it can be used both on and off the field.
2. Shock Doctor Shoulder Brace
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The Shock Doctor shoulder brace is our second favorite sports brace. If offers moderate stability which is good for each injury mentioned above. It can be worn on either shoulder as it provides perfect compression for comfort plus it is latex free. It’s great in appearance and can easily fit under most uniforms. It offers level 3 support which happens to be the highest stability level.
3. Babo Care Shoulder Brace
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The Babo Care Sports brace is a great pick. Of all the braces on Amazon, it has majority of positive reviews at over 600. The product has perfect support and can be worn on either the fists or arm and it has a great fit for both men and women. It is made using breathable neoprene material and is also inclusive of a pressure pad where an ice or hot pack can be placed on the shoulder when it’s being used. Fits perfectly under all kinds of jerseys and the best part is that it includes a 12 months 100% satisfaction refund guarantee.
4. McDavid Shoulder Brace
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The McDavid brace falls on the less restrictive and lighter side of the spectrum. It offers level 1 support which is perfect for minor strains and sprains. It can fit both arms and is made from latex free material. This brace is perfect for athletes that are experiencing high impact collisions like the ones in soccer or basketball.
5. Zen Keys Shoulder Brace
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The Zen Keys shoulder brace is new in the market but comes like a recovery kit giving it some bonus points. The kit comprises of a brace, an E-book to aid in stretching and a rope pulley to aid with range of motion. The brace also includes a pocket pad where a heat or ice pack can be put to help sooth pain during half time or when the game is over. The Zen Key shoulder blade is breathable, lightweight, adjustable in size and can fit both women and men. The bonus aspect is that it’s inclusive of a 100% refund.
6. Zeegler Orthosis Shoulder Brace
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The Zeegler Orthosis shoulder brace is also a great pick. The brace can perfectly fit both women and men and can be worn on bot shoulders. It’s inclusive of a free E-book “How to Deal with Shoulder Pain”. It can easily fit under most jerseys and can also be used in most sports injuries. It has a 3 months refund guarantee.
7. Vistery Shoulder Brace
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The Vistery Shoulder Brace is amongst the best-looking braces in the market. You can easily put it on and take it off without assistance. The brace is lightweight but can still provide you with solid protection. The material used in making it is breathable neoprene and is inclusive of a 30 days refund guarantee.