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Leaflet: High Arm Sling

High arm sling

Following your visit to the Minor Injury Unit (MIU) you have been given a high arm sling. This will help you to rest your injured
hand and to reduce swelling. Swelling causes pain and stiffness and elevation helps to prevent this.

Unless you have been told otherwise you should take this sling off when going to bed, and when washing and dressing.
Before taking it off to do these activities, note how it is fitted – this might help you when you put it back on.

When you are in bed, try to raise your hand on some pillows. When you wake up in the morning you should put your sling back on.
But you should take the sling off every three to four hours and move your shoulder, elbow, wrist and fingers to avoid them getting stiff. It is very important to move your fingers as much as the pain will let you.

You should wear the sling for one to two days unless you have been told otherwise. Do not wear any rings until your hand is back to its normal size.

How to put on your high arm sling on

Place injured hand up to opposite shoulder. Lay the sling over the arm as shown with the longest side hanging down. Tuck the bottom corner up and under the injured arm. Take the two ends behind the neck and tie in a bow.Wear the sling for as long as you have been advised. For your personal safety remove sling before bedtime unless directed otherwise by the clinician.

Call 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation. For less urgent health needs, contact
your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

Visit the Minor Injuries Unit webpage for more information about this service.

This leaflet can be provided in other formats and languages, please contact us for more information.

Date of creation: July 2021
Date of review: July 2023
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