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Wraps and Strapping

The goal of a Compression Garment is to reduce swelling of edema in the arms, hands, legs or feet. Today's garments have evolved into more than just big, bulky items that need to be worn at certain times. Making a decision on which to choose from has gotten easier, just by using these simple starting guidelines:

  • 1. Needed Level of Durability
  • 2. Limited Dexterity - Ease of Use
  • 3. Changes in Swelling
  • 4. Placement
  • 5. Types of Compression Needed

Needed Level of Durability: Today’s compression garments are being made to last longer. Longer wear time and less down time means the pieces are getting more durable as they are being made. Many garments today can be worn continuously, some for as long as 24 hours, before having to be washed. When they are washed, they don’t wear. The fabrics used today show no effects to multiple washings. Less wear and tear over time means less re-orders of the same garment. Many pieces today are able to last at least six months, sometimes longer thanks to the materials used to make them. Stretchable polymer material combined with stronger Velcro and other fabrics means it can be put through the rigors of constant wear without seeing signs of tearing.

Ease of Application: Despite their intended purpose, pain makes it difficult to put on or take off wraps or strappings. Today’s wraps have been made to be put on just as easily as it is to take off. In many cases it may only take a single limb to put on a garment. Items such as a CircAid Juxta-Lite Ankle-Foot Wrap can be applied easily with one hand. Another easy item to put on is the Invacare Universal Wrist Wrap. It can applied using only one hand.

Changes in Swelling: Since the intended purpose of the garment is to reduce swelling, there will come a time when the current piece will become too loose for wear. That’s the good news; however, as it means patients will be able to order lesser compression values or smaller pieces in order to further assist in the healing process.

Placement: Swelling can happen in any place on the body including arms, legs and ankles. Thanks to a more modern approach, there are pieces available just for specific limbs or larger parts of the body. Some available body pieces include hands, feet, arms, and legs. Some pieces are also specific to a certain area such as the thigh or the stomach. Whatever the part, there’s a piece available.

Types of Compression Needed: There are several garments available with different levels of compression. Lite pieces provide a small amount of pressure (typically 15-20 mmHg) and can be worn continuously without any down time. Classic pieces cost the most but also provide the most amount of compression (between 30-40 mmHg) for severe edema cases. Severe Thrombotic Syndrome stockings are available with 40-50 mmHg.

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