Wearing a shoulder brace to protect your shoulder joint and prevent injuries is highly recommended in football players. These are especially for those who have suffered an injury in the past. Some of the more common injuries football players come across are shoulder dislocations, frozen shoulders, and tears to the muscles that make up the rotator cuff. Therefore, you need the best shoulder brace for football if you are a consistent player looking for stability.
In this article, we’ve reviewed five of the best shoulder braces so you can find the right one for your needs.
Our 5 Top Recommended Best Shoulder Brace for Football
How Does a Shoulder Brace Help?
Supporting Injury Site
If an injury has already occurred then a shoulder brace will help support the injury site and speed up the recovery process. This can be done by taking some of the pressure off of the injury site and placing it onto the brace.
Coordination and Proprioception
Another way a shoulder brace assists is through compression. The compression a brace offers enhances the sensitivity of the receptors located in your skin. Receptors send messages to the nervous system about the position of the shoulder joint, the amount of force your muscles are applying, as well as the coordination of multiple muscles.
The more active these receptors are can aid in keeping the joint out of risky positions for injury. this is referred to as proprioception, your body’s awareness of its limbs in space, and many people who suffer from multiple subluxations and dislocations often have decreased proprioception.
Shoulder braces add an additional layer of protection for the muscle tendons that are superficial from bumps and knocks during the game. Shoulder braces are also able to protect from subluxations and dislocations by limiting the range of motion of the shoulder joint. By preventing the joint from moving into a high risk position you are decreasing the chance of injury.
Football Shoulder Brace Reviews
This is a great high-quality shoulder brace that is not too expensive. It is made with air mesh material making it very lightweight, breathable, and comfortable. The material also has TPR gripper pull-tabs that will keep the brace secure and in position.
This is a great brace for rotator cuff injuries; there are straps around the arm, an X-shaped strap over the injured joint and then wraps around the chest. It is comfortable to wear over or under and shirt and has great traction while playing a high paced intense game of football. You will feel secure and protected on the field when wearing this brace, it is a great support!
Donjoy is one of the leading manufacturers of the highest quality support gear. Their Sully shoulder brace is designed to pull the humerus back and restrict external rotation and abduction, basically keeping the shoulder joint in a safe protected range.
The controlled assistance this brace provides follows the natural movement of the shoulder joint and won’t interfere with your play. What is great about this brace is that it can be fully integrated into football pads through additional straps that hook into any football pad. This means your pads and brace will not be migrating leaving you to focus solely on the game.
- This is a neoprene shoulder support that can help relieve the pain associated with shoulder strains and injuries. It is designed to fit either shoulder and has a sizing chart to determine the correct size for any player.
- McDavid materials contain their patented HexPad Technology that provides durable, lightweight, and breathable padding systems to protect and compress the shoulder joint. The Hexpad Technology is a common choice for football players.
- Unlike the EVS and DonJoy shoulder braces, this brace does not have a covering or strap that fully goes around the chest making it easier to move your truck. This brace is easily adjusted and a great value for the cost.
This shoulder support has great stability and control over the shoulder joint, and offers a comfortable fit to a wide range of chest sizes. The braces are designed with the Shock Doctors X-Fit strap system that allows you to correctly align your shoulder into the position you want.
The N-TEX air flow neoprene has moisture-wicking properties that will keep you cool and dry during the game as well as provide compression and thermal support. Thermal support leads to more blood flow in the joint and leads to quicker healing between games.
This brace is designed slightly differently than the above braces. It has a strap that goes under the arm of the injured shoulder and then has a larger strap that goes under the non-injured arms. The specialized design of these braces help improve movement in the shoulder and is great for players who need to move a lot.
The straps are easy to adjust and easy to put on plus fit nicely on the chest for any female football players. MNT stands for Magnetic Natural Therapy and is there to boost your metabolism and immune system, the magnetic effect creates a natural way of healing your body.
Understanding Shoulder Anatomy for Shoulder Braces
The shoulder joint in referred to as a ball and socket joint, this makes it a very mobile joint that can move in any direction. There are three bones that make up the shoulder joint; the humerus which is the upper arm bone, the scapula which is the shoulder blade and the clavicle which is your collarbone. The head of the humerus sits in the glenoid fossa of the scapula.
The joint is surrounded by a connective tissue capsule as well as ligaments and tendons. The rotator cuff consists of 4 ligaments that helps to move and stabilize the joint. The four muscles that make up the rotator cuff are supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor.
Best Shoulder Braces for Football Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are very common in a sport like football that has players constantly put in high-impact contact plays. Whether you are getting tackled or the one making the tackle you are at risk and just one bad fall away from a shoulder injury. Additionally, quarterbacks are at a higher risk because of the position their body is in (making a throw) when players try to catch them.
The benefit of the ball and socket joint is that it allows for movement in any direction. However, it does put this joint at a higher risk for dislocations. There are two types of dislocation; partial dislocation including subluxation and full dislocation.
- A subluxation is when the head of the humerus is only partially out of the socket and a full dislocation is when the head is fully out of the socket. Both are very painful and can be damaging to ligaments, tendons and bones in the area.
- The shoulder can dislocate forward, downward, or backward.
- The most common is to dislocate it forward and this happens when the arm is in a throwing position. Therefore, if a player is experiencing repeated shoulder dislocations then we recommend a shoulder brace.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that involves dull or aching pain and loss of range of motion. The pain is often on the outer shoulder area and in some cases the upper arm. There are three stages to frozen shoulder.
- In the first stage is referred to as freezing. The shoulder capsule begins to thicken and connective tissue becomes stiff. Furthermore, this is what leads to the large decrease in mobility of the shoulder.
- The next stage is the frozen stage which has a lot of pain and stiffness. Moreover, this stage can last 4 to 6 months.
- At last, the final stage is the thawing stage and this is when the shoulder starts to improve its range of motion.
Rotator Cuff Injury
A rotator cuff injury can be a tear to any of the four muscles and their tendons that surround the humerus and keep it secure in the sockets. One or more muscles can be torn; the most common muscle to have a tear is the supraspinatus. As a result, the tendon will begin to fray and then can turn into a complete tear. There are two levels of tears, partial and full-thickness.
- There are two types of causes, which are acute and degenerative.
- The cause of an acute tear is a single incident like falling on an outstretched arm or lifting a heavy object.
- A degenerative tear is a slow wearing down of the tendon and an accumulation of micro-tears. The major reason for degenerative tears is repetitive stress, lack of blood supply, and bone spurs in most of the cases.
An acromioclavicular separation is not technically a shoulder injury but is often associated with them. Moreover, the experts refer them to as AC separation. It is a tearing of the ligaments on the underside of the clavicle which results in the separation of the clavicle and the boney process of the scapula called the acromion. This injury is often caused by falling directly onto the shoulder and can be very painful.
For football players, shoulder braces are a miracle. And It gives them appropriate support and protection from injury and falls during the play. For years, physical therapists have recommended such stability tools to enhance stability and reduce pain and inflammation post exercise.
In a nutshell, we’ve reviewed five of the best shoulder braces so you can find the right one for your needs. These will protect your shoulder joint and prevent further injuries. Read our related posts for more product reviews.