A splint or brace can take the pressure off joints, especially in the wrist or hand, and protect them from injury. In addition, immobilizing a joint with a splint tends to reduce inflammation; therefore, pain is lessened. A sling can help with shoulder or elbow problems, but it is essential that the sling be removed several times a day so that the joint can be moved around for at least 15 minutes. If a sling is left on too long, stiffness can set in. An ACE bandage can provide extra ankle support for minor tendon or ligament injuries. In addition to these measures, a physical therapist or occupational therapist can show you ways to protect your joints by changing how you use your joints or by providing assistive devices. For example, people with arthritis often have trouble gripping thin objects such as a pen or fork — larger handles can improve function while reducing stress on the joints.