Compression Bandages and Their Use

A bandage is a material that supports the body and allows it to heal itself. A compression bandage is a little different from the ordinary bandage as it is used to apply pressure to the area that is healing. The pressure thus applied performs a number of functions. It prevents swelling and edema. It increases blood circulation and allows the patient to manage their condition better.

Compression bandages are of two kinds.

Short stretch compression bandages: These bandages are commonly worn on the limbs, like the fingers and areas of the leg. They are generally used to treat venous ulcers, lymphedema, leg ulceration and even small wounds. Short stretch compression bandages have a property that allows them to shorten around the area, thus applying consistent pressure. Since the bandage does not exert increased pressure during periods of inactivity (which can lead to the accumulation of fluids in the area of application), these bandages are well suited for long term healing. What’s more, the design of these compression bandages is such that they resist pressure that is applied when an internal muscle contracts or moves. So, these ban adages can be worn even when the patient is asleep, though this is not always recommended.

Long stretch compression bandages: As the name suggests, these bandages can be applied over large areas, like a portion of the limb. These bandages apply pressure over the area but have a high resting pressure. Therefore, it is necessary for patients to remove these bandages when the body is at rest. Long stretch compression bandages are so called because they can be stretched to almost three times their size. These bandages are an important part of the healing process in many conditions like Complex Physical Therapy, venous leg ulceration and lymphoedema. Patients who need to use long stretch compression bandages while they are recovering from a condition need to take care that the compression bandages come off at night because these bandages become too tight to allow comfortable sleep.

may look like a simple stretch of material, but a lot of design goes into their manufacture. Some of the most important characteristics of compression bandages are elastic properties, pressure, components and layers. Compression bandages are medically prescribed in long term treatments because they help preserve the elasticity of the skin, maintain the improvements that have been gained by therapies like massage therapy, reshape and maintain the shape of the limb and accommodate the difference in size between the different areas. For instance, the bandage will wrap around a bulge in the same way as it will accommodate a constricted area.

Compression is generally recommended by doctors because they help reverse the accumulation of fluids. They also increase the flow of blood through the venous system and boost fibrinolytic activity. So, compression is an important treatment for various conditions.