How to Apply a Compression Bandage

The application of a compression bandage can be effective if done properly such that it allows full range of motion and does not constrict circulation. Compression bandaging is typically used in the treatment and prevention of venous ulcers that are common and difficult to treat wounds.


The following steps outline how to apply a compression bandage:

1. Start the roll at the lower leg, be sure the rolled up part is on the outside so that it can be wound around the leg.

2. Pulling both edges evenly, unroll the bandage directly on the skin.

3. Do not pull the bandage away from the skin as this will furrow the skin and cause inconsistent strangling.

4. Keep the knee and ankle joint at right angles throughout the application.

5. Cover from the center of the foot and be sure to fully wrap the heel before progressing up the ankle and lower leg.

6. After wrapping the remaining area of the lower leg, the patient should feel firm support from the ball of the foot up to the top of their calf.

7. Often, a second compression applied in the opposite direction of the first will provide more support and helps ensure stability.

8. Ask the person to whom the bandaging was applied to walk around in the bandage to be sure that they have a full range of motion, firm support, and no constriction.


Venous ulcers are common for patients with limited mobility as a result of long dormant periods and increased pooling of blood in the veins and arteries. This can lead to ulcers that are extremely painful and difficult to treat. The proper application of a compression bandage can help support and relieve pressure in these areas to prevent the development of ulcers.

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