Short Stretch Bandage - (By Size/Vendor)

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Crucial in lymphedema management is to provide the skin tissues with a solid counterforce against muscles working underneath, particularly while standing, sitting, walking, or performing therapeutic exercises. The subsequent increase in the tissue pressure during muscle activity promotes lymphatic and venous return, and prevents fluid from accumulating in the skin. It is equally important to prevent the bandages from exerting too much pressure on the tissues during rest, which could cause a tourniquet effect and effectively prevent adequate return of these fluids.

There are two distinct types of compression bandages – short-stretch and long-stretch bandages. The difference refers to the extent the bandages can be stretched from their original length. Short-stretch bandages are made from cotton fibers, which are interwoven in a way that allows for about 60% extensibility of its original length, whereas long-stretch bandages, commonly known as “Ace” bandages contain polyurethane, which allows for an extensibility of more than 140% of the bandages’ original length.

The high working pressure of short-stretch cotton bandages provide the necessary solid counterforce and make them the preferred compression bandage in the management of lymphedema. Due to the low resting pressure of short-stretch bandages, tourniquet effects are prevented – provided these bandages are applied correctly.