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Selecting the Proper Compression Bandage for Your Sports Injury

Selecting the Proper Compression Bandage for Your Sports Injury

By Kevin Cleary

Sports injuries can happen to anybody. As a matter of fact, if you played a sport or are just active there is a good chance you tweaked, pulled, torqued, twisted, strained, or sprained something. These injuries can be minor and require little recovery or they can be serious and need to be looked after. Since most of us are not professional athletes and weekend warriors, knowing what we need and how to care for it is important if we want to get to work on Monday.

Sprained Ankles

We’ve all done it, running along and then all of a sudden we twist our ankle. Oww!! Depending on the damage to the ligaments, a sprained ankle might not be serious. A sprain is an overstretching of ligaments in a joint. When the ligaments in the ankle get stretched or partially torn, you should immobilize the joint to facilitate healing. The use of ice and proper compression will help your ankle heal faster. An injury to the ankle which would be classified as a mild sprain (Grade I) can be treated with the use of an elastic compression bandage. This can be wrapped around the foot and ankle in order to support the joint. X-Ten Elastic Compression Bandages w/Self Closure is a good choice in this instance. Other good options include Covidien’s Kendall Tensor Elastic Bandages and Lohman and Rauscher’s Soft Foam Rubber Compression Bandage. For more serious injuries, the choice of an ankle wrap such as Core Pullover/PowerWrap or FLA Orthopedics offers EZ-On Around Ankle Support and a Figure Eight Elastic Ankle Wrap. If you want to combine compression with icing, a good choice is the Bodymed Cold Compression Therapy Ankle Wrap. Whenever choosing a bandage or a wrap it’s a good idea to follow your physician’s guidance. Here’s a quick glance at how to use an elastic bandage on your ankle.

Knee Sprains

Another common injury to an active person is a sprained knee. This can happen to either the MCL or ACL of the knee joint. By using compression bandages, such as the 3M Ace Elastic Bandage, we can help support this joint and get us to work on Monday without much discomfort. Much like a sprained ankle, the use of an elastic compression bandage can help stabilize this joint and allow the ligaments to heal. In addition to these common compression bandages, there are specialized compression wraps made for the knee. Manufacturers such as Core Products International offer many styles of knee wraps. Their 12 inch Universal Wraparound Elastic Knee Support and the Front Closure Wraparound Knee Support are two good examples of easy to use compression bandages/wraps to help with injuries. Comfortland manufacturers Wraparound Knee Braces that can offer more support/compression if needed. The Bodymed Cold Compression Therapy Knee Wrap combines the benefits of icing compression.

Ouch!! That’s My Hamstring!!

There is nothing worse than in the middle of a game and you pull your hamstring. This type of muscle strain can benefit from compression bandages. A muscle strain is a slight tear in the muscle that can put a damper on your sports day. Wrapping the hamstring area of your upper leg using an elastic compression bandage is usually the first course of treatment. AMD Medicom Elastic Bandages or BSN Jobst Isoband Elastic Multipurpose Bandages are good options. If your injury is minor, wrapping it tightly can get you back in the game, but if it is more severe, then the better option is icing it, wrapping it, and rooting on your teammates from the sideline.

Oh, oh!! My Arm!!

Another problem the weekend warrior has to deal with our injuries to our arms. The two most common places that are susceptible to injuries are the wrist and elbow. Whether it’s falling and spraining our wrist or suffering from tennis elbow, the use of compression bandages or wraps/braces will help. Medline Elastic Bandages and Dynarex Elastic Bandages are good options to help support injured ligaments in both wrists and elbows. While elastic bandages can be an inexpensive solution, the use of neoprene wraps/braces can offer comfort and support. Invacare offers several options, including the Neoprene Universal Wrist Wrap. Sammons Preston manufactures both the Rolyan Neoprene Universal Wrist Wrap and Preferred First AM Wrist Wrap. The Serenity2000 Magnetic Wrist Wrap even offers six magnets sewn into the brace for magnetic therapy. FLA Orthopedics offers sufferers of tennis elbow Safe-T-Sport Neoprene Tennis Elbow Sleeve while the AT Surgical Unisex Tennis Elbow Brace with Adjustable Neoprene Pads also offers relief. For common elbow compression the Sammons Rolyan Neoprene Elbow Sleeve can help provide compression and stability to the elbow joint.

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