What is a Support Bandage?

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  • Written By: Kecia Hambrick
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 30 September 2019
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A support bandage is a form of bandage that assists the healing of injured muscles and bones, helps slow the bleeding of a wound, or provides support to prevent injuries from occurring. There are many different kinds of supportive bandages, including many types of pressure or compression bandages, typically made of materials such as cloth or elastic. The type that should be used varies based on the situation and on the intended purpose of the dressing.

Possibly the most common support bandage is the compression bandage. This can come in an elastic or cloth form. The elastic bandage is made of a stretchable fabric that is wrapped multiple times around a body part and can be secured with metal clips. It is commonly used on the joints, particularly knees, ankles, and wrists. Elastic bandages can be used to restrict the blood flow to an injured area. It can also be used on other areas of the body to secure a splint.

Cloth compression bandages are often used to offer support against injuries to various body parts while participating in sports or exercising. These supportive bandages can help prevent damage and injury to the area in which it is applied. Many athletes use cloth bandages to cover areas most likely to be harmed, such as the joints, before competitions.


A cohesive bandage is another form of support bandage that works similar to that of an elastic bandage. It can be wrapped multiple times around an area of the body, and is easily secured, as it adheres to itself without sticking to other surfaces. The material is generally lightweight and typically conforms well to various body parts. This type of bandage is generally used to hold IV needles, gauze, and other medical supplies in place on the body.

Pressure bandages are a form of support bandages that can provide assistance in decreasing the amount of blood loss caused by an injury. In extreme cases, a pressure bandage is typically applied over gauze in order to apply extra pressure, helping to stop blood flow from a wound. Small adhesive bandages can also be considered pressure bandages, as they help stop the bleeding of minor cuts and abrasions. They also act as a sterile bandage to keep the area free of germs and infection.

For fresh injuries and wounds, a support bandage should be applied immediately to prevent further damage, bleeding, and swelling. Caution should be used when selecting the right type of bandage to use, and it is important to make sure to place a sterile bandage on any open wound. A bandage should not replace medical treatment, but rather offer support to the affected area until the injured person can been seen by a doctor.

First aid kits typically consist of a variety of supportive bandages. These may include common forms of elastic bandage, adhesive bandages, gauze, and pressure bandages. Other medical supplies, such as bandage tape, scissors, and clips come in many kits to help apply and secure the bandage in place.


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Post 2

While using support bandages is helpful in many cases, it is also important that you know how to use them. If you make a support bandage too tight, you can cause other problems because you may be cutting off blood flow to the affected area.

If you apply a support bandage and notice pain, skin discoloration, or excessive coolness around it, you probably have it on too tight. You should take it off and wrap it again until if feels tight yet comfortable.

Post 1

Support bandages are also helpful for controlling swelling and bruising following different types of cosmetic surgery. If you are planning an elective surgical procedure, talk to your doctor about whether or not a support bandage would be a good option for you to use during the healing process.

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