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Best shoulder support & braces for rugby (UK) - Buying Guide: 2024

Rugby is a sport in which the shoulders play an important role, since they are affected by the constant impacts and forces exerted on them. In this case, the use of sports shoulder braces is essential in this activity to prevent dislocations and other injuries, since they act as a shock absorber in sudden collisions with other players.

In this discipline there is a myth that "it is the most dangerous sport", but if you protect yourself appropriately, you can practice it without major dangers. Here we will learn about its characteristics, types, analysis of its function in rugby and even the most common injuries while playing.

What is the best shoulder brace for rugby injuries?

IPOW - Sports Shoulder Brace for Sports Injury Recovery with Adjustable Neoprene
  • Sizes: S-M-L
  • Colours:Black
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure type: Closure with elastic and velcro straps
  • Cold/warm effect: No
  • Helps increase blood circulation
  • Upper arm and rib cage both adjustable
  • Ideal support for everyone
  • Low clamping force
  • Not machine washable
With the IPOW shoulder brace you will maintain the correct shoulder position at all times due to its adjustable velcro straps. The unisex design in breathable neoprene is suitable for sports and for relieving pain from rheumatic diseases. Simply insert your arm and lift the back of the support to place it on your shoulder. Then move the straps until you are comfortable and the joint is secure.

In a few seconds the blood will start to circulate better and you will feel the therapeutic effect immediately. It is important to know that this shoulder brace is intended for people who have advanced muscle weakness or suffer from osteoarthritis or acute tendonitis. Therefore, for patients with small injuries, the support is not adequate.

WORLD BIO - Shoulder Support with ice pack for shoulder injuries, tendonitis and pain
  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colours: Blue
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure type: Elastic straps and velcro closure
  • Cool/warm effect: Gel pack included
  • Strong Velcro fastenings
  • Gel bag for warming or freezing
  • Premium stitching and finish
  • Quick and easy to use
  • One size fits all
  • Bulkier than other options
This ice pack splint can be used in two different ways to get the therapeutic effects of heat and cold. It has a medical gel pack that you place in the microwave and, when you want to stimulate the affected area with cold, you put the gel in the refrigerator for about two hours to keep it warm for 30 minutes.

The World-Bio ice pack shoulder brace can be used to combat inflammation and pain caused by bruises, tendonitis, bursitis and surgical recovery. The gel pack is reusable and can also be applied to the knee, ankle, hip and other joints. Its grip is not sufficient for sports practice or for any complexion movement. In addition, you need another person to help you place the heat pack when the injury is severe.

TRILINK - Adjustable Shoulder brace support for Men and Women
  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure type: Elastic straps and velcro closure
  • Cold/warm effect: Not included
  • Good compression
  • Very comfortable and easy to use
  • Breathable neoprene material
  • Includes pressure pad
  • One size fits all
  • Gel bag not included
If you have suffered a tear, arthritis, rotator cuff injury, bursitis or tendonitis, then you should consider relieving the pain with a TRILINK shoulder brace. This sports brace has strong seams to bind the breathable neoprene fabric together and prevent skin irritation, keeping your shoulder protected at all times. You can also correct postural habits that cause wear and tear on the joint.

The shoulder brace we present to you has a pack to place a gel pack so you can perform a hot and cold therapy, but this gel pack is not included in this offer. Please note that the support of the splint is not sufficient if you have an advanced tendinitis or bursitis injury or if you want to do sports that require extreme shoulder movements.

DOACT - Unisex Dislocated Shoulder Support with Adjustable Strap for Rotator Cuffs
  • Sizes: One size fits all
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure type: Elasticated straps and Velcro closure
  • Cold/warm effect: Not included
  • Suitable for a wide range of injuries
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Stylish and discreet design
  • Not machine washable
  • Less adjustable than other options
  • No gel pack
With the Doact shoulder brace you will find the support you need to keep the joint firm when you have a muscle tear, inflammation due to tendonitis or dislocation. Its useful ergonomic design in neoprene allows you to relieve pain thanks to the blood supply that this garment generates in the affected area. The brace is designed to be worn on either shoulder, for both men and women, thanks to its one size fits all fit.

You will be able to perform any task and maintain a relaxed body posture when wearing Doact. It is important to note that you will need the help of another person to put the brace on. On the other hand, the pain may increase when you take the brace off, as you need to lift your arm during this action.

Wchiuoe - Unisex sports Shoulder Compression Sleeve with Pressure Pad for Rotator Cuff
  • Sizes: S
  • Colours: Blue
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure type: Elastic and velcro fastening
  • Cool/warm effect: Not included
  • Easy one-handed adjustment
  • Four corner compression
  • Breathable compression fabric
  • Quality finish
  • Large for small people
  • Strap too long
In just 4 steps you can put on any of the sizes of this protector made of high quality materials. It features double adjustable straps at the biceps that are fixed to the arm to create a feeling of stiffness in the joint. This product can be used when you have muscle strains, inflammation in the bursae or tendons.

The four-cornered pad in this design will allow you to further secure the shoulder for extra protection. The breathable neoprene is hand washable without bleach, so you can reuse it as often as you like. In some cases the size is too high and squeezes the armpit too much. The perpendicular strap can be uncomfortable on a woman's bust.

Kuangmi - Double adjustable shoulder support for men and women
  • Sizes: L-XL-XXL
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure type: Elastic and velcro fastening
  • Cold/warm effect: Not included
  • Increased comfort
  • Fully adjustable design
  • High quality soft fabric
  • Highly elastic foam material
  • Large sizes for women
  • Thin elastic straps
The stability provided by this shoulder support corrects the posture of both men and women. It has a removable double strap that adjusts to the front or back of the thorax, according to the needs of the user. The elastic material of which it is made provides greater comfort, keeping the shoulders fixed during all hours of use.

It can be used during sports activities or to stimulate blood flow in case of inflammation due to tears or tendinitis. Its strap located on the biceps allows a better grip of the brace, although it is important to consider that the double strap on the front of the thorax can disturb the armpits and also women's busts.

DOACT - Shoulder Heating Pad and Electric Massager for Frozen Shoulder Pain Relief
  • Sizes: S-L
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure type: Elasticated straps and Velcro closure
  • Cool/warm effect: Included
  • Heat-Cool-Heat Thermal Option
  • Massage Mode
  • Accessible buttons
  • 3 Temperature Modes
  • Massage option somewhat noisy
  • No USB cable
Another electronic product to consider for relieving the symptoms of sprains, arthritis and dislocated shoulders is this adjustable neoprene orthopaedic splint. With this immobilising brace you have the possibility to massage the affected area and receive the benefits of heat therapy at the same time. You adjust the available frequencies to maximally relax the tissues in the affected area by pressing the switch button on the arm.

Choose the level you like in just a few steps. You can use this shoulder protector after a long day at work or before sports. Please note that you should not use it in direct contact with the skin, as this can cause burns. In some cases the heated shoulder straps and the noise of the motors may cause discomfort to the user.

Sports Laboratory - Adjustable Heat and Cold Therapy Shoulder brace with ice pack
  • Sizes: XS-S
  • Colours: Black
  • Material: Neoprene
  • Closure type: Elastic and velcro fastening
  • Cool/warm effect: Included
  • Good compression
  • Cold-Heat Therapy
  • Very comfortable
  • Unisex product
  • Thin material
  • Difficult to put on
The Sports Laboratory shoulder brace with gel packs for cold-heat therapy is suitable for both arms and can be easily adapted to any person. It is ideal for promoting the exchange of nutrients from the blood with toxins left in the shoulder due to inflammation from arthritis, bursitis, sprains and tendonitis. It can be worn in summer or during sports, as the breathable neoprene keeps the skin cool.

The different combined sizes and the guide included in the product offer help to speed up the patient's recovery. Simply fasten the strap to the chest and press the arm band to receive maximum compression and shoulder support. The design can be large for smaller frames, and fitting can be difficult for some users with advanced pain.

Video: Shoulder joint anatomy

Types of shoulder braces you should know about

What are the most common shoulder injuries in rugby?

Shoulder injuries are becoming more and more common, especially in rugby, since it is a contact sport in which you exert a lot of effort while running, jogging and pushing the opponent. During these training sessions it is important to perform strength, endurance and speed exercises as the risk of injury is higher and lower level players are much more affected due to their inexperience.

However, the following section will explain the most common injuries in rugby, defining the conditions and detailing how they occur or could occur in this high-risk shoulder sport.

Fracture of shoulder

This is a fracture of the bone that runs horizontally from the sternum to the shoulder blade. The clavicle's job is to keep us upright to prevent poor posture, which can cause discomfort during this activity. This fracture can be caused by a very hard fall with an outstretched arm or by a heavy load on the shoulder.

Symptoms include immobility of the affected shoulder or arm, severe pain, bruising, and large or small skin bumps in the area. As a result, this type of injury is common in sports such as rugby. It occurs when the arm is suddenly jabbed and the arm is locked with the opponent, damaging the joint by excessive resistance to stop the opposing team by exerting greater force.


Bursitis is an impairment of the joint sacs. This is a sac that contains the fluid that lubricates the bones to facilitate joint flexion. It is caused by an excess of activity. Usually, this condition occurs in the shoulder, elbow, hip and knee, as these areas are more prone to bursitis.

It occurs in rugby players because sudden collisions or hits overload the shoulders because the greatest force is applied to this joint during an attack. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling, warmth, redness and tenderness when the joint is moving or at rest.

Rotator cuff tears

The rotator cuff consists of a group of four muscles, the supraspinatus, subscapularis, teres major and infraspinatus, which provide precision, mobility and stability to the joints. The ligaments can be partially or completely torn, which means that the ligaments that connect them are out of alignment and constantly suffer from this condition.

Pain and immobility in the shoulder are signs of an injury, which is a major problem in rugby due to the high load in training and games. In this contact sport, there are two reasons for this: trauma from a sudden fall on the arm, which causes a shock of tension in the tendons, and finally, the years of practice of this discipline, which can lead to wear and tear of the ligaments (torn ligaments).

Dislocation of the shoulder

The shoulder is composed of three bones: the clavicle, the scapula and the humerus. The injury occurs when the humerus (in the form of a small ball) sits in the scapula and slips out of position due to a blow or stretch. Dislocations can be partial, when the ball is outside the socket, or total, when the ball has completely dislodged from its original position.

This injury occurs during rugby practice when a violent tackle is made. In short, it is the shoulders that are responsible for stopping or holding up the opponent when he uses more force than necessary, resulting in a severe dislocation and rendering this joint immobile. It is important to know the precision points in order not to perform unnecessary movements that would damage your resistance.

Frozen shoulder

This is a condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the ligaments that connect the shoulder muscle. It is essentially a severe immobility that is usually mistaken for tendonitis or osteoarthritis. It should be noted that healing is slow and improves or disappears within about the first or third year of the condition. The main symptom is pain, followed by limited lateral or circular movement, with the joint remaining static.

This injury occurs in rugby when the player runs to protect the ball and is tackled by another player who abruptly bumps the shoulder. Since it is a contact sport where many joints are injured whether we like it or not, the use of shoulder braces is essential in any training to avoid future problems.

Buying guide: Tips on how to buy the best shoulder brace for rugby

Rugby is a sport that puts your physical well-being at risk, as your shoulders are exposed to impacts every time you practice or play. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the proper use of clothing, the most important being the sports shoulder braces .

Depending on its function

  • Shoulder braces for pain relief: the shoulder is a delicate part of the human body that can be easily injured, causing constant stinging and pain that prevents mobilization. In rugby, shoulder braces are necessary to maintain the health of the joint and ensure the stability of the rotator cuff during sports activities.
  • Shoulder braces to relax the muscle: Their design allows pressure to be applied during exercise, allowing the muscle fiber to adjust to its original position without causing tears or bruising. This garment has a relaxing effect as it relieves all tension in the shoulders, strengthening the shoulders and increasing athletic performance.
  • For better blood circulation: compressive epaulettes have a stabilizing effect, provide strength and elasticity, keep muscle tissue warm, contribute to better blood circulation and prevent blood clots. Since rugby is a contact sport, bruising can occur in this area, which can be detrimental to health and lead to serious illness. This can be avoided by improving circulation with these garments.
  • Warming shoulder supports: with their cushion-like structure, they keep warm, cold or vibrating temperatures that keep muscles, tendons and ligaments at rest. The advantage of this shoulder support is that it retains heat while playing rugby, allowing steam ventilation. It is very comfortable and easy to wear and has an anti-inflammatory effect during heavy hits, which helps the player feel safe and confident in every game.
  • Compression shoulder sleeves: the compression they exert is one of the main benefits of sports shoulder braces, as they have a therapeutic effect by compressing the joint, improving blood circulation, relieving pain, reducing inflammation and more. It is the main product used by great rugby players.

Material of manufacture

Before buying a sportswear, it is important to know what materials it is made of, as there are always questions about quality, compression, breathability and much more. Therefore, we will explain some of the most common materials used in the manufacture of sports shoulder braces, so you can make the right choice.

  • Neoprene, a kind of synthetic rubber, provides sufficient support, is flexible and durable, but not breathable. Therefore, it is used in varying proportions along with other materials such as nylon, which, in addition to some of these properties, absorbs moisture and is immune to moths and lint.
  • Elastane or spandex is not used as the main fiber, but in combination with other materials it creates an ideal garment that is absolutely resistant and durable, because its main advantage is its elasticity: you can stretch it as much as you want and it will always keep its original state, adapting to the shoulder of the athlete.

Type of support

The closure is a very important feature, especially for rugby players who, since it is a sport with sudden and violent movements, can cause the mobility of the garment, being so harmful because the shoulder support would not have the expected effect and also expose the joint to injury. To avoid this type of accident, it is advisable to use materials that provide additional support.

  • Velcro closure: it stays tight, depending on the closure you want. It has adhesive strips that act as a movement stabilizer without shifting or causing discomfort. This type of closure is commonly used for compression garments because of its convenience and versatility.
  • Neoprene: A material characterized by its flexibility due to its chemical properties, allowing the garment to fit easily to the shoulders. It provides the natural support typical of neoprene, which is why it is widely used in the manufacture of sports shoulder sleeve.


Most shoulder braces fit the body, either through the fabric or the support material, which is called "one size fits all". However, there are those who prefer a garment that conforms to the body and puts the appropriate pressure on their joint. In these cases, you will need to determine your size by measuring the distance from one shoulder to the other, as well as the thickness of your arm.


Fashion is not only observed on the catwalks or perhaps on the streets, but athletes, especially professional athletes, also set trends in clothing and style, getting the imitation of many fans who find themselves in them. Rugby players are no exception, and many maintain their public image. So, the sports shoulder sleeve provides superficial comfort without sacrificing its functionality

The variety of colors, models and shapes currently available on the world market makes it easy to find the right garment for your taste and personality. Whether you want to cover one or both shoulders, whether you want a massage effect or a more customized compression, you can get it thanks to its variety and versatility, always thinking about the protection of the athlete without worrying about his external image.


Just as there are a variety of models, functions and materials, the price also varies according to the features mentioned above, since each "extra" accessory increases the cost of the garment. Buying a very cheap sports shoulder brace increases the risk of buying an inferior product, as the quality of the materials and the anatomical design increase the price of the product as well as its final quality.

Do compression shoulder sleeves for rugby really work?

Compression shoulder sleeve are always a very useful garment for all athletes, especially for rugby players, as they are twice as likely to be at risk in this area of the body than in other sports. Their use can mean the continuation of a professional career, since a serious shoulder injury would result in exclusion from the game.

These garments provide the protection you need in any game, thanks to the materials used to ensure sufficient stability of the joint, preventing it from breaking or detaching, despite the jerky movements characteristic of rugby. In addition, their compression effect provides a therapy that promotes blood circulation and relieves pain, swelling and other discomfort.

Undoubtedly, compression shoulder braces represent a novelty in shoulder therapy, as they enable fast recovery and even better athletic performance without the need for medication, thus enabling the rugby player's daily development.

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