Splinting is a type of treatment used to manage musculoskeletal injuries, particularly those that involve fractures in the arms and legs. Splinting immobilises the bone, which helps decrease pain and bleeding while preventing further injury. Splinting can be used as the lone treatment for certain injuries.
Traditionally, the material used for splinting has been plaster of Paris, but splinting techniques and methods have evolved through the years, and today, there are many types of splinting materials available including fibreglass, pre-padded fibreglass, aluminium, pre-formed plaster, and more.
The choice between custom and pre-formed splints usually depends on what’s convenient and what’s being required by the physician. For light injuries, a patient may be given the power to choose his splint material. For serious cases however, it is usually the physician’s judgment that must be followed.
Splinting as a first aid method
If you or a loved one experiences a musculoskeletal injury, it can help to know how to make a temporary splint using the materials that are available to you. It is often impossible to tell early on if a bone has been fractured, so it is best to assume that it is and apply first aid to prevent the injury from worsening. To apply splinting, follow these tips from your Newmarket physio.
How to apply a temporary splint
The first requirement is to find something rigid that you can use as a splint to stabilise the limb. This can be a strong stick, board, plank, plastic tube, and even a rolled-up newspaper. If the object contains sharp edges, wrap it in cloth for the injured individual’s protection.
The next thing you must find is something that you can use to attach the splint to the limb and secure it in place. Common objects that you can use include belts, shoelaces, ropes, and even a piece of clothing that has been cut to long strips.
If there is bleeding, you must first treat the wound before applying the splint. Bleeding can be stopped by first applying pressure on the wound, then wrapping it with a bandage, gauze, or piece of cloth. With the bleeding stopped, you may then place the splint on the limb and fasten it using the tying material you have on hand. Once the limb is stabilised, you may then take the patient to a Newmarket physio clinic such as the Institute of Sport Physio for proper treatment.