How Do You Wrap a Shoulder?

Shoulder wraps prevent excessive motion.
Image Credit: Sergejs Razvodovskis/iStock/Getty Images

Also known as a shoulder spica, shoulder wraps prevent excessive motion and provide joint comfort to an unstable shoulder. Shoulder wraps are versatile and can be worn comfortably during athletic events or activities of daily living


Shoulder Spica

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Step 1

Stand facing the individual who will be wrapping the shoulder. Wrap elastic bandage around top of the bicep two times, creating an anchor. Pull moderately tight but do not take the stretch out of the bandage.

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Step 2

Wrap underneath the armpit, over the top of the shoulder and across the chest, pulling tightly. Follow the wrap underneath the unaffected armpit and across the back and pull tightly over the shoulder, loop underneath the affected armpit and over the shoulder again, back across the chest.

Step 3

Overlap the bandage at least one-half width of the previous pattern. Repeat the pattern until the elastic bandage runs out.

Step 4

Tape the finished end of the elastic wrap and follow the pattern back. Tape around the anchor on the arm for an extra support wrap. The spica should resemble a figure-8 pattern.

Things You'll Need

  • 4-inch-width elastic wrap

  • 1 1/2 inch athletic tape


If 4-inch elastic wrap is too small, increase to 6 inches.


Do not sleep or shower with elastic wrap on. If circulation is decreased, re-wrap the shoulder.



Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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