Bracing helps limit movement of an injured body part so that it can heal in a stable position. They can be removed more easily than splints. They are typically used for less severe injuries, stable injuries or later in the recovery process.
Splints are used for more intense injuries, dislocations and sprains to support weakened joints and prevent further injury by limiting movement. Splints are typically used immediately after an injury because they offer support but allow for swelling. Splints come in many shapes and sizes to fit the affected body part and immobilize it while it heals.
Casting provides the greatest level of support to the injured area and helps hold it in place for a period of time. Immobilization can help decrease pain, improve healing, and reduce the risk of further injury.
If an injury occurs part of the recovery process, immobilization (bracing, splinting, or casting) can be used to help you return to your desired level of function.