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How to Bandage an Elbow

Bandaging an injured elbow is simply logical: if you physically compress the area, it won't be able to swell as it might if left to its own devices. It's also a pretty simple process.


  • Step 1: Place bandage & secure Place the tail end of the bandage on the inside of the arm, just below the elbow, and wrap it around the arm twice to secure the bandage. You want it tight enough to apply pressure but to not cut off circulation.
  • TIP: Have the victim bend the elbow slightly if they can do so without causing further pain or injury. This positioning will make the bandaging easier.
  • Step 2: Wrap upward Wrap upward, winding the bandage diagonally from the elbow toward the bicep.
  • Step 3: Wrap figure eight When you reach the elbow, wrap a figure-eight pattern around the elbow so the X, or middle, of the figure eight is on the inside of your elbow, then continue upward.
  • Step 4: Finish bandage When you reach the bicep, finish the bandage by completing two turns directly over one another, just like at the beginning, without moving the position of the bandage.
  • Step 5: Use binding clips Use the binding clips found in the bandage packaging—or apply a strip of adhesive tape—to keep the bandage in place.
  • TIP: Avoid anything that might increase swelling in the first 48 hours after an injury, like a hot shower or drinking alcohol.
  • Step 6: Check circulation Check for circulation by squeezing the tip one of the fingers on the injured arm and see how long it takes for color to come back to the fingertip. If it takes longer than 3 seconds, unravel the bandage and redo it a little looser this time.
  • FACT: The funny bone is not a bone at all, but a nerve that runs along the ulna, one of the two major bones in the forearm.

You Will Need

  • A 2- to 3-inch wide bandage
  • Binding clips or adhesive tape
  • Soap and water (optional)
  • Disposable gloves (optional)
  • Dressing (optional)

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