Upper Body Dressing Tips

Simple actions like dressing may be more difficult following injury or surgery. Follow the tips below when you dress and undress your upper body.

  • Gather all your clothes and dressing equipment. Be sure to put them in easy reach.
  • If you have trouble with buttons or zippers on your clothes, use a button hook or a zipper pull.
  • It’s best to wear loose, comfortable clothes.
  • For safety and to conserve energy, sit while you dress and undress.
  • Be sure to follow any surgical or medical precautions from your doctor or therapist when you dress or undress.
  • Always dress your affected (weaker) arm first.
  • If both arms are affected, put your arms into the garment first, and then pull it over your head.
  • Before you put on a shirt, blouse, sweater, or jacket with buttons, pre-button the bottom of the garment. Then pull the garment over your head.
  • If you must button a shirt or blouse while you have it on, button from the bottom and move up.
  • Always undress your unaffected (stronger) arm first.
  • When you undress, grasp clothing at the neckline, and then pull it over your head.

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com