Wraps can generally be categorized as either elastic or self adherent. These two categories serve similar purposes but there are also some notable differences between them. Wrapping provides compression to reduce effusion and swelling and and also gives support and reduces range of motion when treating injuries. It is also a way to secure pads and dressings in place.

Elastic wraps permit the user to adjust the level of compression during application. They also possess the advantage of adapting well to body contours and providing multi directional compression. In addition, they are generally reusable.

Self adherent wraps also have elastic properties but, in addition, can adhere to themselves without causing irritation to the patient’s hair or skin. They conform easily to various body contours and are capable of providing adjustable compression. However, they are generally suitable only for single use. Made from elastic yarn, they come in widths of 1, 1.5, 2,  2.5, 3, 4 and 6 inches and have a standard length of 6 yards.

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