Online since 2002 |   866-316-0162

Articles and News

A Comprehensive Guide for Compression Bandage

A Comprehensive Guide for Compression Bandage
Akanksha Nigam

A compression bandage is a stretchable bandage that creates localized pressure. It is commonly used for injuries, sprains, and strains to reduce the blood flow to the affected area, which reduces swelling. It is also referred to as an elastic bandage, compression wrap, and bandage wrapCompression bandages are also used for first-aid and the RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevate) method.

What Is a Compression Bandage Used For?

You may use a compression bandage for:

  1. Ankle Injuries: If you have a sprain in your ankle or there is swelling, you may use a compression wrap for your ankle to reduce the swelling.
  2. Blood Flow Problems: Compression bandages help the veins reroute blood back to the heart to prevent accumulation of blood, which results in swelling. Compression wraps are also great for those who spend long periods of time standing.
  3. Compression Therapy: Compression wraps help with veins or lymphatic system conditions and can treat varicose veins and venous leg ulcers by putting pressure on the surface veins, which forces blood back to the deep vein system.
  4. Lymphoedema: - A chronic condition that leads to swelling. Although it can affect any part of the body, it usually develops in the arms or legs. A compression bandage wrap can help ease the swelling.

Finding the Right Size 

Choosing the right size bandage is essential to prevent blood circulation from being cut off. The general rule is ‘the wider the bandage, the lesser chance of obstructing blood flow. Compression bandages range from 2" to 6". A 6" bandage wrap is suitable for the chest, torso, or thigh. 3" to 4" elastic wraps are ideal for an adult leg or arm, and a 2" bandage is best for children's arms or legs and adult fingers.

How To Apply a Compression Bandage?

When using an elastic compression bandage, it is important to apply the correct pressure. Wrapping a compression bandage gets tricky on different parts of the body. The method of using a compression bandage for the knee will differ from a compression bandage for the wrist. It is also essential to note that one compression bandage cannot be used for every body part. The size of a compression bandage for the thigh will be different than a compression bandage for the wrist. These bandages are available in light, medium, and strong compression levels. When wrapped, the bandage should fit snugly yet comfortably, not too tight or too loose. It should never cause pain, numbness, or tingling. The skin should never become cold or turn blue.

How To Wrap a Leg or An Arm with Compression Bandage?

  • Roll up the bandage.
  • Hold it in a way that the beginning of the bandage is facing up.
  • Keep the limb in a neutral position.
  • Start wrapping at the farthest end.
  • With each turn, overlap the edges by an inch.
  • Secure the end with a clip or tape when finished.

How to Wrap an Ankle?

  • Roll up the bandage.
  • Hold it with the beginning of the bandage facing up.
  • Keep your ankle at a 90-degree position.
  • Start near the ball of the foot. Wrap the bandage several times till you reach the heel.
  • Leave the heel exposed and circle the bandage around the ankle.
  • Circle the bandage in a figure 8 pattern around the arch of the foot.
  • While wrapping, keep moving down towards the heel and up towards the calf.
  • The wrap should cover the foot from the end of the toes to a few inches up the ankle.
  • Secure the end with a clip or tape when finished.

How to Wrap a Wrist?

  • Roll up the bandage.
  • Hold the beginning of the bandage facing up.
  • From the base of the fingers, tie the wrap around the hand between the thumb and index finger.
  • Continue wrapping the hand and keep moving towards the wrist.
  • Wrap around the wrist several times and end a few inches above the wrist.
  • Secure the end with a clip or tape when finished.

Where To Buy Compression Bandages?

HPFY carries a wide range of compression bandages for wound management. Some of our top sellers are:

1. Cardinal Health Four Layer Compression Bandage System

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

This four-layer bandage kit includes an absorbent padding bandage, a conformable bandage, a compression bandage, and a self-adherent cohesive bandage. All four rolls are self-adhering and stretchable. These bandages apply more pressure at the ankle and less pressure on the calf to direct the blood flow upwards in the leg. The first layer is the loosest, with increasing tightness with each layer. Wearable for up to a week at a time, these bandages are ideal for patients with an ankle circumference of 18cm or 7-8 inches.
Cardinal Health Four Layer Compression Bandage System



2. Cardinal Health Three Layer Compression Bandage System

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

The Cardinal Health 3-layer compression bandage applies optimal compression on areas where full compression is not possible due to arterial damage. The kit includes an absorbent padding bandage, a conformable bandage, and a self-adherent cohesive bandage. The conformable bandage absorbs the exudate and conforms to the shape of the leg to prepare it for pressure dressing. The absorbent padding bandage does the dual job of absorbing exudate in addition to protecting the body areas. The last layer of the cohesive bandage applies compression and stabilizes the leg.
Cardinal Health Three Layer Compression Bandage System



3. Medline Non-Sterile Matrix Elastic Bandages

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

The Medline Matrix bandages are ideal for treating conditions that require low compression. They are made with polyester and cotton weave that provides excellent elasticity and recoverability. These bandages can be used to administer first-aid as they securely hold the dressings and splints in one place. Their latex-free construction enables them to be used on sensitive skin. These Medline bandages come in different widths with color codes for easy size identification.
Medline Non-Sterile Matrix Elastic Bandages



4. 3M ACE Elastic Bandage With E-Z Clips

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

The 3M ACE Bandage comes in different widths for the abdomen, ankle, back, calf, elbow, foot, knee, shoulder, and wrist. It provides mild compression to the muscles and joints and conforms to the body shape. Synthetic rubber, cotton, and polyester build and maintain elasticity despite multiple uses and washes. The bandage inhibits bacterial growth to reduce odor and retains body heat to relieve pain.
3M ACE Elastic Bandage With E-Z Clips



5. BSN Tensoplast Elastic Adhesive Bandage

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

The BSN Tensoplast bandage is ideal for medium compression and provides optimal pressure and long-term support. Its superior stretch and regain properties render it super-flexible. It features strong adhesive properties that keep the bandage secure and in place. The elastic construction allows the user to stretch the bandage without losing its original shape. Its fluffy edges ensure that the threads of the bandage do not get separated and the bandage does not fold during usage. The bandage's water-repellent nature, accompanied by air permeability, takes care of the user's skin and prevents maceration.
BSN Tensoplast Elastic Adhesive Bandage



A compression wrap is helpful with swelling, venous ulcers, and other problems characterized by swelling and require compression. However, the compression level and the method of wrapping the bandage can vary with every injury or sprain and specific body part. A properly wrapped compression bandage can help the injury heal faster, but if you feel pain, numbness, or tightness, remove the bandage and re-wrap the injured area.

When to seek professional help

If you have any underlying condition that is making your situation worse, it is highly recommended you consider consulting a doctor to address the issue.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.

HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

LinkedIn Profile


Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

Continue reading

Trending Articles

Enteral Feeding: The What, When, and How

Shweta Chaubey

When traditional oral intake is not feasible, enteral feeding comes into play. It supports nutritional needs of individuals recovering from an injury or surgery. Dive into this informative article and learn what, when, why, and how of enteral feeding and ensure optimal patient care.

Using the Carpal Solution Carpal Tunnel Wrist Support

Kevin Cleary

Looking for a non-invasive option to manage carpal tunnel symptoms? Experience relief from constant tingling and pain with this Carpal Solution Wrist Support. Read this article to know about the unique features and benefits of this wrist support brace designed to deal with CTS and find why it is one of the most reliable wrist braces available on the market.

Top 5 Best Reviewed Nebulizers of 2023

Kevin Cleary

Need an effective and affordable nebulizer? Look no further, in this article we offer 5 of our best reviewed nebulizers that are loved by our customers. Click to read more and find the perfect nebulizer for all your respiratory needs.

10 Best Overnight Adult Diapers

Shweta Chaubey

Worried about nighttime leaks? Say goodbye to leakage with our ten best overnight adult diapers and wake up refreshed and dry.

Five Best Cervical Traction Devices of 2023

Taikhum Sadiq

Neck pain can wreak havoc on your otherwise healthy life. Traction device improves your cervical health and overall well-being. Read more to find our best cervical traction devices designed to curb the stiffness and discomfort of cervical muscles.