For most patients with lymphedema, bandages will be an important part of their treatment plan. While initially your Certified Lymphedema Therapists or CLT may be the one in charge of wrapping the affected limbs, he or she will work with you so you can learn the techniques yourself
Most of our customers are a bit nervous the first few times they have to do their own wrapping using short stretch bandages. This is why your CLT will work you through the process and have you practice when they are there to help.
Once you have completed the wrapping a couple of times under your therapist’s watchful eye, you will be more than able to handle the task on your own.
The Benefit of Bandages
You will notice on our website we offer different types of bandages for different needs. Short stretch bandages have the elastic fibers woven with cotton fibers, so they only stretch about 30 to 60% compared to long stretch that can stretch as much as 300% of their original length.
With the shorter stretch, it is possible to create more compression than could be achieved with the higher elasticity of the medium or long stretch options. This tension or compression around the limb is important as it doesn’t give as you move the limb. This creates pressure and a pumping motion as you move your hand, arm, leg or foot and aids in moving the lymph from the extremity to the top of the limb.
Caring For Bandages
Short stretch options for bandage are designed to be used more than once, and they can be used up to 50 times depending on your activity level and other factors. They will eventually need to be replaced when they no longer provide the elasticity and compression required.
The new types of short stretch bandages are very easy to care for, something our customers certainly appreciate. They can be placed into the washer and run through with your load of clothes. They should not be placed in the dryer but allowed to air dry by hanging them on a rack or line.
One quick tip we would like to provide is to use a washing bag to prevent the bandages from wrapping around the agitator in the machine. This will increase the life of the bandage and also save you a lot of frustration.
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