Immobilisation - Sports Injury Treatment

What is immobilisation?

Immobilisation involves stabilising and resting an injury by preventing the affected muscle, joint or limb from moving or bearing weight.

Forms of immobilisation


Broken bones will usually be placed in a cast; the cast will be fitted once the two ends of the bone have been re-aligned. Casts are usually made of fibreglass or plaster. Once a cast has been fitted it will hold the bone in place and allow it to heal. Casts are designed to fit the individual person.


Splints are used for smaller fractures, such as broken fingers and dislocations. A splint helps to stabilised the bone or joint and can be used as a temporary measure before a cast is fitted.


A sling is used to immobilise the arm after an injury to the arm, wrist or shoulder. Commonly, slings are used in conjunction with a cast.


Collars are used to stabilise and support the neck after an injury. The collar also limits the movement of the head, which prevents further harm to the neck.


Braces are commonly used for spinal, leg and arm injuries; braces are used to hold bones in place and support the surrounding area. Braces are usually removable.

Mobility aids

When the body is recovering from an injury, an athlete may use aids, such as crutches, a walking stick or a wheelchair to help them get around while the injured joint, muscle or limb is immobilised; this also ensures the affected body part is not under pressure from bearing weight, which will aid recovery and prevent further damage.

Effects and benefits of immobilisation

Immobilisation allows the injured body part to heal and prevents it being damaged any further.

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