Elastic Bandage is an Elastic Term
In our case, ‘compression’ means conscious application of pressure to attain the required clinical effect. Most commonly, the compression effect is reached by wearing elastic stockings or tights, and applying special elastic bandages in order to prevent swelling and cure several diseases causing venous drainage disorders in limbs.
The bandages used in treatment of diseases of veins and lymphatic vessels differ among themselves both in their extensibility and other properties. I your doctor has failed to prescribe you a particular elastic bandage it would be rather complicated to choose because pharmacies offer them in a very wide range of models.
This notice will provide you with information about differences between bandages thus enabling you to make correct choice from the huge number of various bandages.
The treatment effect of elastic bandages is based on their ability to help decrease blood pooling in veins. One of the most common causes of varicose veins (enlarged veins in limbs) is the weakness of peripheral vein wall muscles and valves resulting in blood pooling. Veins become enlarged and „come out” towards upper layer of skin. Superficial thrombophlebitis is a complicated disease when, due to various causes, deep veins get blocked, and the blood vessels located closer to the skin surface cannot manage the increased blood flow.
There are three groups of application depending on the pressure produced by the bandage on the damaged part of limb.
|Clinical diagnosis||Pressure produced beneath the bandage (mmHg)|
|Superficial varicosities (extended veins)||14 - 17|
|Moderately severe varicose veins; treatment of ulcers; prevention of moderate swelling||18 - 24|
|Severe varicose veins; thrombotic syndrome; severe swelling; treatment and prevention of swelling||25 - 35|
Manufacturers offer bandages in the elasticity range from 30 to 170 percent. Bandage width varies from 4 to 12 cm and more, their length – from 50 cm to 5 m and more. Elastic bandages can be woven or knitted; they are made of various materials, including paper. As regards the latter bandage group, in most cases they are intended for one-time use.
Why are these differences so important? Which criteria should be taken into account when choosing a bandage?
Most of domestic and foreign manufacturers offer knitted bandages mostly made of synthetic fibers, and only few of them (LAUMA MEDICAL) produce woven bandages of natural fibers.
The elasticity of a bandage is closely linked with the pressure it produces: the higher the elasticity the lower the pressure beneath wrapping. However, it should be explained that the pressure depends not only on the bandage elasticity, but also on the method and strength of wrapping. Therefore, a health professional should assist you in wrapping the bandage for the first time.
The difference between the pressure produced by the wrapping during limb exercise and the one produced in resting state is also a matter of great importance. Bandages of high elasticity (like the ones by LAUMA MEDICAL) produce rather even pressure both in stress and in idle state, thus allowing notable changes in pressure to be avoided. Bandages of average or low elasticity, in comparison, produce quite high „working pressure” during stress, and minimal pressure when in rest. Such bandages are mainly used for treatment of diseases in more advanced stages when the pressure produced beneath wrapping should be moderate or high. It is necessary to consider that additional layers of wrapping increase the pressure beneath. For instance, if you wrap the bandage in 3 layers the pressure becomes three times higher. Therefore, highly elastic bandages can be applied also in cases where a higher pressure is required.
Another important factor that should not be underestimated is flexibility of a bandage, namely, its ability to adapt to the body shape. This is essential when wrapping bandage around shoulder area, elbow, knee or ankle. Woven bandages with a high content of cotton are most suitable to this end. The structure of the bandages reminds the one of gauze, they have soft touch and are quite flexible when wrapped. The special weaving method ensures that the bandages are highly long lasting even after prolonged use (up to one year and more) and multiple washing.
Moreover, unlike knitted bandages, woven bandage can be cut in the desired length without having to finish its ends. After cutting, the end of a woven bandage still remains stable while a knitted bandage simply ravels if the ends are not additionally treated.
Each bandage has its own advantages, and they have to be used for their intended purpose, preferable, after consultation with a doctor.