Your Occupational Therapist (OT) or Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) may give you a GivMohr Sling for one or both of your arms. The purpose of the sling is to support the arm and to prevent it from hanging down. This will help prevent further injury. This sling supports the weight of the arm(s) when you stand, move and walk.
The sling provides support in two ways:
How does it protect my arm?
Your sling may lower the risk of shoulder subluxation which is a separation in the shoulder capsule. This occurs when your shoulder muscles are not working or are weak and cannot support the weight of your arm. Patients will often have swelling and shoulder pain.
You are given a “grade” based on the size of the separation space. The bigger the space, the more swelling and pain you will have. The sling protects the shoulder joint when standing, moving and walking and may protect your arm from further injury.
How does it help my arm function?
The GivMohr sling supports your arm and hand at your side so your arm can function. It will allow your arm to swing when you stand, change position and walk. If you have finger movement, we can cut the plastic handpiece away from the sling. This will allow you to grip and pinch objects while the rest of the hand and arm strap support your arm. We will often wrap a thin padding around the hand strap to cushion it after the handpiece is removed.
When do I wear the GivMohr sling?
Wear the GivMohr sling to support the weight of your arm(s) when standing, transferring, and walking.
You likely will not need to wear the GivMohr sling when you sit because you can support your arm in other ways. You can support your arm with pillows by putting the pillows under your elbow and forearm when sitting in an armchair. You can also use pillows when you sit in a wheelchair that does not have a lap tray or an arm trough/tray.
Your OT may suggest other options if they are concerned you are neglecting your arm. Your OT may ask you to wear the GivMohr sling even when you sit. They may ask you to do this if you are at risk for your arm sliding off the armrest or pillows without you being aware. If you have a wheelchair with a lap tray or an arm trough/tray your therapist may give you a forearm strap instead of the sling. This will keep your arm from sliding off the wheelchair lap tray or out of the wheelchair arm trough/tray.
To make sure you have a proper fit you should have an OT or OTA fit you with your GivMohr sling. Your OT may also teach you or a caregiver how to put the sling on and how to take it off.
Diagram of GivMohr Sling Parts
GivMohr Bilateral Sling
How do I put on the GivMohr arm sling?
Lay sling out on the table to line up and straighten it.
Put your non-injured arm through the looped shoulder strap.
Make sure the pad is in the right place so it cushions the armpit of the non-affected arm. Your non-injured arm is the _________ arm.
Hold onto the square 4-tab buckle and put it over your head.
Center the 4-tab square buckle tab over the spine and low between the shoulder blades, making sure the other two shoulder harness arm straps stay in front of your injured arm. Your injured arm is the ___________ arm.
Straighten the two shoulder harness arm straps so both adjustment buckles are facing forward/front.
Place the hand of your injured _______ arm into the hand strap with the plastic handpiece in the palm of your hand and the crossed wrist strap centered over the top of your wrist(your wrist should be slightly bent back)..
Push your elbow of the injured _______ arm into the right place so the elbow strap is about 1 inch below the elbow and resting on your forearm (your elbow should be slightly bent).
Put the back strap behind your injured arm.
Move the 4-tab buckle so it is centered on your back and off your neck (centered over spine and low between shoulder blades).
How do I adjust the sling when wearing bulky clothes?
You can adjust the buckles of both of the shoulder harness arm straps.
You can adjust the back shoulder harness. Avoid moving the shoulder in a rounded forward position.
How to Wear Your Sling