Tips for When Your Arm is in a Sling

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This page contains tips for when your arm is in a sling. Having your arm in a sling can make it hard to get dressed, sleep at night, or even just be comfortable throughout the day. Here are a few tips that may help make life a little easier.


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After having surgery on my shoulder for a torn Rotator Cuff two weeks ago, I've learned a few useful things that might help you one day.

The best idea actually came from my husband! Faced with the need to help me get into and out of slacks and a button-down shirt every day for six weeks, he suggested wearing those strapless, elastic top sundresses.

They're perfect! I can pull one up or down without removing the sling and they're so much more comfortable. Since the sun dresses aren't something I'll wear for long, I bought several from a local thrift store and saved money.


Another tip is to line the sleeve of the sling with a soft cloth. It keeps the sling from irritating your skin. The shoulder strap can be bulky and uncomfortable, so whenever I'm sitting still or sleeping in a recliner, I unhook the strap which is quite a relief.

Last of all, when it feels like you will be in that horrible contraption forever, remind yourself that each day is one day closer to being well. This too shall pass.

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September 5, 2018

The writing below is the answer I sent to someone who needed help following a shoulder surgery.

Regarding difficulty putting your bra on, me too! I had difficulty with that but I finally figured it out. I'll try to explain, though seeing it done would be better, but I'm not inclined to send pictures. lol


My left shoulder was broken so I cut the left strap neatly at the front bottom edge where it joins to the cup. I attached two sticky back Velcro strips about 2 inches long, one to the inside of the strap and the other to the outside of the cup. I took the Velcro strips off when I laundered the bra and stuck them back on later. They lasted for 2 or 3 re-applications before they lost stickiness and had to be replaced. WalMart sells the Velcro strips in the sewing notions department.

Putting on the bra: Wrap the bra around your waist with the back hook closures at the front, about belly button height. Close the back hooks.

With your good arm, twist it around until the back closure is where it's supposed to be. Then shimmy it up your midriff until you can put your good arm through the strap. With the good arm, slowly ease the whole bra up higher, under the sling.

Here comes the good part. I used my kitchen tongs to grab the left dangling strap from behind my back and I brought it to the front. The strap needed to be attached and that's where the Velcro fix came in. It did the job.

Another option is to wear a strapless one. You can buy bras with detachable straps.

Source: Personal Experience

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