How Do I Compression Wrap My Feet For Lymphedema?

How Do I Compression Wrap My Feet For Lymphedema?

Compression wrapping your feet for lymphedema is a vital part of managing swelling and promoting better fluid circulation. Following these steps, based on the guidelines provided in the University Health Network's document, can help ensure proper technique and effectiveness.


Materials Needed:

Short-stretch bandages (various widths)

Padding (e.g., synthetic padding, foam)

Tape or clips to secure the bandages


Steps to Compression Wrap:

Preparation:

Ensure your foot is clean and dry.

Sit in a comfortable position with your foot elevated slightly to reduce existing swelling.


Padding:

Apply padding around the toes, foot, and ankle to protect the skin and provide even pressure distribution.

Make sure to cover any bony areas to prevent pressure sores.


Starting the Wrap:

Begin at the base of the toes. Hold the loose end of a narrow bandage against the skin and wrap around the toes, ensuring you cover each toe individually but leave the tips of the toes exposed to check circulation.

Secure the initial wrap with one or two circular layers.


Wrapping the Foot:

Move to a wider bandage and wrap around the foot, starting at the base of the toes and progressing towards the ankle.

Use a figure-eight technique to cover the entire foot, ensuring each layer overlaps the previous one by about half its width.

Maintain an even, snug pressure without wrapping too tightly, as this can impede circulation.


Ankle and Lower Leg:

Continue the wrap up to the ankle, again using the figure-eight method to ensure complete coverage.

If needed, switch to a wider bandage as you move up the leg.

Overlap each layer by about half the width of the bandage and continue wrapping until you reach just below the knee.


Securing the Bandage:

Once you reach the desired height, secure the end of the bandage with tape or clips.

Ensure the wrap is secure but not too tight. You should be able to slip a finger under the wrap.


Final Checks:

Check the color and temperature of your toes. They should be warm and pink, not cold or blue, indicating proper circulation.

If the wrap feels too tight or causes discomfort, rewrap with slightly less tension.


Monitoring:

Rewrap your foot daily or as recommended by your healthcare provider.

Regularly check for signs of impaired circulation, such as numbness, tingling, or increased swelling.


Tips for Effective Compression Wrapping:

Consistency: Wear the wrap consistently as directed by your healthcare provider to manage lymphedema effectively.

Cleanliness: Keep your wraps and padding clean to prevent infection and skin irritation.

Seek Guidance: If you are unsure about the wrapping technique, seek guidance from a healthcare professional or lymphedema specialist.

By following these steps and ensuring proper technique, you can effectively use compression wraps to manage lymphedema in your feet, reduce swelling, and improve overall comfort and mobility.

 

How To Exercise My Foot For Lymphedema?

Exercising the foot for lymphedema is crucial to help reduce swelling, improve circulation, and maintain mobility. Here are some effective exercises you can do to manage lymphedema in your foot:

 

Ankle Pumps:

  1. Sit or lie down with your legs extended.
  2. Point your toes downward (plantar flexion) and then pull them back toward your shin (dorsiflexion).
  3. Repeat this motion 10-15 times, keeping a smooth and controlled pace.

 


 Toe Curls:

  1. Sit with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Curl your toes downward as if you are trying to pick up a towel or marbles.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then release.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times.

 

Foot Circles:

  1. Sit or lie down with your leg extended.
  2. Lift your foot slightly off the ground and draw circles in the air with your toes.
  3. Make 10-15 circles in one direction, then switch directions and repeat.

Heel Raises:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. You can hold onto a chair or wall for balance.
  2. Slowly raise your heels off the ground, standing on your toes.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels back down.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times.

Alphabet Exercise:

  1. Sit with your leg extended and your foot slightly off the ground.
  2. Using your toes, draw the letters of the alphabet in the air.
  3. Perform this exercise with both feet.

Takeaway

Compression wrapping your feet for lymphedema is essential for managing swelling and improving fluid circulation. Begin with clean, dry feet, and sit comfortably with your foot elevated. Apply padding around the toes, foot, and ankle to protect the skin and ensure even pressure distribution. Start wrapping at the base of the toes, covering each toe individually while leaving the tips exposed, then progress towards the ankle using a figure-eight technique with wider bandages. Maintain even pressure without wrapping too tightly, and secure the wrap just below the knee. Check your toes for proper circulation, and rewrap daily as needed. Consistent use, cleanliness, and seeking professional guidance ensure effective management of lymphedema, reducing swelling and enhancing comfort.

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