The effectiveness of external immobilization is often underestimated. Simply resting the injured or stressed limb in a position optimal for blood flow can reduce pain exaggerated by movement and promote healing. This is particularly true for simple fractures that are not displaced and compression of tendons and nerves in repetitive stress conditions.

Immobilization may simply entail resting the injured limb in a particular position during periods of inactivity, casting, or removable splints and braces. While this period of immobilization gives fractures time to heal, it also alleviates the pressure the position required for some activities may place on tendons or nerves.

Though, long periods of immobilization sometimes associated with casting may take a toll on muscle function in the limb and require a period of rehabilitative range of motion and strengthening exercises before regaining full limb function.