If you have recently been injured and you want to improve your circulation, your physician or physical therapist may recommend using a compression wrap. It’s a bandage made of elastic and it is wrapped around an affected body part to apply pressure and help minimize swelling. Calf wraps may also be recommended as a long-term solution for health concerns such as circulation problems and blood clots.
Benefits of compression wraps
A compression wrap may help address the following concerns:
- Blood flow problems: Compression wraps can be used to improve blood flow to the heart. Poor circulation makes it difficult for your blood to travel from your legs back to your heart, but with the right calf wraps, the condition may improve especially if you’re often on your feet or you have blood flow problems.
- Ankle injuries: A sprained ankle is prone to swelling. Compression wraps can help by reducing inflammation and speeding up the healing process.
- Compression therapy: Do you have issues with your lymphatic system or veins? Compression wraps may be helpful. They are proven effective in improving conditions like venous leg ulcers and varicose veins because they apply pressure on surface veins to push blood back into the deep vein system. You’ll find a good selection of high-quality compression wraps at Lymphedema Products to help you with your treatment.
- Lymphoedema: A compression wrap can help manage the symptoms of lymphoedema by easing the distortion or swelling of your skin.
How to use compression wraps
Using compression and calf wraps may seem straightforward, but there are some things you should consider before you do. Here are a few pointers:
- Ensure the right compression level: Some wraps have a specific level of compression: light, moderate, high, or extra-high. Only your doctor can determine the best compression level for your injury or swelling.
- Wrap properly: Make sure the bandage is clean before putting it on. Depending on the injury, you may need to keep wrapping the affected area every few weeks, and as the swelling goes down, the compression level may be reduced.
- Don’t wrap too tight: First-time users of the compression wrap may initially be surprised at how tight it feels, especially around the foot or ankle (if they use it for their legs). It should feel better once you get used to it. But if there’s persistent pain in your leg that doesn’t go away, the wrap may be too tight or incorrectly sized.
- Know the four-layer technique: This is the most common method for wrapping an affected body part. The first layer is the loosest, and the next layers are wrapped tighter until you get the compression required. This technique is best for improving blood flow and healing ulcers, particularly on the legs and feet.