Ice Shoulder Wraps

Written by Devin Flanigan
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Creating an ice shoulder wrap the old fashioned way is a complex affair that takes a lot of specialized knowledge and practice. Ankles, knees and elbows present much less of a challenge because an elastic bandage can easily be wrapped around all sides of these joints. Shoulders and hips, however, connect limbs to the body's core and therefore are literally harder to get a grasp on.

For a shoulder wrap, the elastic bandage must first be wrapped around the upper arm to anchor one end of the bandage to the limb. The bandage is then stretched over the shoulder and down across the back, wrapping under the opposite arm before coming up across the chest. The first layer of this figure-eight design is completed by going over the shoulder from the opposite angle, and coming down and circling the upper arm again. Now, the protective layer is down and ice can be applied before repeating this complex pattern.

Easy-to-Use Shoulder Wraps

It is a practical impossibility to wrap one's own shoulder in this fashion, and luckily, that's not necessary. Neoprene braces that offer both cold and compression therapies are available that can be slipped on the shoulder easily. The chilled liquid core of these braces offer 20 minutes of cold therapy before needing to be frozen again.

Icing a shoulder after a repetitive motion such as throwing, painting or lifting prevents swelling and inflammation from setting in. It also numbs the shoulder and relieves the pain associated with muscle strain. Ice wraps should be considered a mandatory part of any physical activity that involves significant use of this important joint.

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