A splint may be a good short-term treatment for
any painful injury. Using a splint helps keep an injury from
moving. This may help prevent further injury until you can see your
Position the splint so the injured limb cannot bend. A good general
rule to follow is to splint from a joint above the injury to a joint below it.
For example, splint an injured forearm from above the elbow to below the wrist.
There are two ways to splint an injury:
Tie the injured part to a stiff object, such as
rolled-up newspapers or magazines, a stick, or a cane. You can use a rope,
belt, or tape as a tie.
Fasten it (buddy-tape) to some other part
of the body. For example, wrap an injured arm to your chest.
When splinting an injury, make sure that you do not tie the splint
too tight. Your splint may be too tight if you have:
Numbness or tingling.
Pale, cold skin below the splint.
swelling below where the splint is tied.
These splinting methods are short-term first
aid measures until a doctor can check the injury.
A sling is a bandage used to support an injured arm.
To apply a sling:
Support the arm above and below the site of the
Place the triangular bandage under the injured arm and over
the uninjured shoulder to form the sling.
Tie the ends of the sling
at the side of the neck.
Do not use a sling for a long period of time. Immobilizing an arm for
too long can cause a frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis).
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.