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How to make an elevated arm sling

Updated July 20, 2017

An elevated arm sling is a special sleeve that holds your injured arm in fixed position. The elevation of the arm in the sling promotes the healthy flow of blood through the arm which helps the injury repair itself as quickly as possible. Instead of buying an elevated arm sling from a chemists or medical supply shop, you can easily make your own from scratch using a simple medical bandage and some simple folding techniques.

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  1. Spread out the triangular bandage so the short sides are pointing downward. The longest straight side should be running horizontally on the upper side of the triangle.

  2. Tie the bottom point into a small knot. This will create a small pocket on the bottom of the bandage which will hold your elbow while it is held in the sling.

  3. Lay the bandage across your body so the knotted point is toward the injured arm and the higher point is draped over the uninjured side shoulder. So if you hurt your left arm, the knot should be pointing to the left with the upper half of the bandage draped over your right shoulder.

  4. Hold your arm so it is bent at the elbow and your lower arm is horizontally placed across your torso. Slip the knotted corner over you elbow so the elbow is resting in the pocket.

  5. Lift the lower half of the sling up and bring the point over your injured side shoulder. The two points of the bandage should now be draped over your shoulders.

  6. Adjust your arm to ensure it is elevated properly and then tie the two points into a knot at the side of your neck. Once the sling is tied in this way you can slip it on and off over your head without untying it.

  7. Tip

    You can cut a large triangle of a soft material like cotton if you can't find a triangular bandage.


    Don't tie the sling so tight that it digs into your neck or you could develop sores.

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Things You'll Need

  • Triangular bandage

About the Author

Sherry Feder

Based in New Hope, Penn., Sherry Feder has been writing computer-related articles since 1987. Her work has appeared in “Inc.” and “Business 2.0” magazines and online at Wired. Feder received the John Goldenberg Award in 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Science in management information systems from the University of Central Florida.

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