Doctors know how to treat and cast a broken arm, but unfortunately, unless you ask, they can be short of advice on taking care of your arm. Most doctor-issued slings are made of cloth that bunches up and pulls at the neck. Sometimes the medical practitioner will even tie the sling in a knot at the back of the neck, which digs into your skin - as if its not bad enough that you already have a broken arm!
A comfortable cast sling can be very affordable (under twenty dollars) and well worth the investment. If you have ever had a broken arm, you know that a poorly made sling can only add to your discomfort.
If you are going to use antiseptics, use them only for small cuts and scrapes. Antiseptics also should not be used to treat large wounds, deep cuts, puncture wounds, eye injuries, sunburn, other significant burns, animal bites, gritty wounds or pre-existing infections.
Some things to look for in an arm sling:
The best arm slings have a belt that goes over your shoulder (not around your neck), then circles underneath your shoulder blades, to meet up with the sling underneath your arm. These are typically under fifteen dollars and available from any orthopedic medical supplies company.
It is also helpful to get a foam backing that also adds to the comfort of the sling. Look for a sling that is designed for individual size.
Elasticity is a very good quality in an arm sling, as not all casts are set at 90 degrees. One size does not fit all and that is the way most arm slings seem to be designed. Look for a sling that is fitted or can be adjusted to fit your shoulder width and arm length. Spandex is well suited to arm slings, providing elasticity, flexibility and comfort.
Spandex has the added advantage of being expandable; for the addition of ice packs or other extras that can add weight and breadth to your arm.
Some slings are also provided with a swathe to hold the arm in place. These may cost a few dollars extra.