Injuries to the shoulder are quite common, especially among those who engage in contact sports. Common injuries to the shoulder include instability in the shoulder joint, rotator cuff damage and inflammation of the shoulder muscles. These injuries can cause pain and tenderness in the shoulder, especially when the arm is lifted or when reaching above the head.
If early first aid care and treatment is provided, these shoulder injuries can fully heal and the normal range of motion can be restored. The usual treatment usually includes administration of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and exercises to strengthen the muscles in the affected area. For the management of pain, the shoulder must be wrapped. Wrapping helps stabilize the affected area while it is going through the healing process. If you have to wrap a shoulder, it is vital to know how to perform it properly so that you do not need to return to your doctor once the bandage is taken off while bathing. In case the pain and swelling does not seem to subside within a week, it is best to consult your doctor.
Steps on how to wrap a shoulder
If an injury to the shoulder requires wrapping, all you have to do is to follow these steps.
- Start at the blade of the shoulder of the affected shoulder. You have to use a 3-4 inch wide bandage, preferably ace bandage and work on a circular covering configuration in which you will circle the shoulder two times, going beneath the arm. Just be careful that the wrapping is not too tight since you do not want to disrupt the circulation.
- At the back, you have to turn the bandage to go around the front of the affected arm at the top of the bicep muscle. By utilizing the same circular pattern, you have to go around the chest and the injured arm three times. Make sure that the bandage must go under the arm that is not injured.
- The ace bandage must be secured in place using a bandage clip. Most of the ace bandages in the market already have these affixed on the end. If not included, you can easily purchase them at a pharmacy or the first aid section in department stores.
- In case the shoulder or upper arm starts to feel numb, it indicates that the bandage is too tight. You have to undo the bandaging and wrap again a little more loosely.
Important considerations to bear in mind
You can also utilize an ace bandage to secure an ice pack to the affected shoulder during ice therapy. Utilize the same wrapping technique but position an ice pack that is wrapped in a towel directly over the affected area first. You can leave the bandage and ice in place for 10-15 minutes.