Tubigrip is a specially designed, elasticated tubular bandage that provides firm but comfortable support for sprains, strains and weak joint.
It is one of the best ways to provide support and reduce swelling after injuries, and can be used to help reduce persistant swelling. It can also be used to keep dressings in place. The benefits of it over other bandages are that it is easy to apply (just pull it on), it stays in place all day without the need for pins or tape and it is reusable and easy to wash.
We will start be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about Tubigrip and will then look in more detail about how it actually works at reducing swelling and providing support and how to use it most effectively.
1) How does it work?
It is made up of small elastic threads covered in fabric. This allows it to mold to each individuals shape whilst remaining firmly in place. It distributes pressure evenly over the area exerting a pressure of 10-15 mm Hg to the limb (when worn double thickness) which helps to reduce swelling
2) How does it feel?
Very comfortable. It provides gentle support without feeling tight, so it doesn’t limit movement at all. Also, it doesn’t get itchy and doesn’t fall down!
3) How do I know what size to buy?
Sizes vary from A (smallest) to
L (largest). See our Size Chart to identify what is right for you.
4) How expensive is it?
Prices vary depending on size, length and colour. We’ve done an extensive review of the US and UK and identified two suppliers who we would recommend: choose from US customers and UK customers
5) Is it reusable?
Yes. You can use it again and again
6) How do I wash it?
Hand wash in warm soapy water and line dry
7) What options are there?
It comes in 0.5m, 1.0m or 10m rolls, and in creamy beige, natural flesh colour or blue depending on what country you are in – US customers and UK customers click the appropriate link to discover the available options.
8) What is it made from?
Cotton, Elastodiene and Polyester NB Most brands contain natural rubber latex
9) Why can’t I wear tubigrip at night?
It must NOT be worn in bed as it can reduce the circulation in the leg if you aren’t moving around, which could lead to a blood clot.
10) Can you wear it when exercising?
You can wear it when exercising for support, but bear in mind, our muscles should be able to provide all the support we need. Carry out knee strengthening exercises daily without wearing tubigrip and as the muscles get stronger, you should be able to wean off wearing it for more strenuous exercise. If you keep using it long term, it can lead to muscles becoming weaker because they don’t think they have to work as the tubigrip is doing their job. This will likely result in longer term knee problems.
11) How do I apply Tubigrip?
See the How to Apply page for top tips on how to apply it and keep it in place, as well as how to choose the right size for you.
With any injury, there is often swelling. Although some swelling is inevitable, too much swelling results in significant loss of function, excessive pain and eventual slowing of blood flow through vessel restriction.
The most effective way to apply and maintain compression on the knee is to use a compression bandage rather than a firm plastic bandage (such as zinc-oxide tape). Usage of a tight, non-elastic bandage will result in reduction of adequate blood flow, potentially causing ischemia.
Another way to reduce swelling is to use Ice - click the link to find out more about how to use it safely and effectively to reduce swelling.
Tubigrip can be used to help support a weak and painful knee. It is
most useful in the first few days after injury. It is important to wean
off the support of the tubigrip compression bandage as soon as
possible, certainly within a week, otherwise muscles are likely to get
weaker due to not being used.
NB it is ok to wear it for longer if you are using it to reduce swelling rather than to provide support.
Tubigrip should always run from the just below the joint above where the injury is to just above the joint below eg if treating the knee it should go from the top of the thigh to the ankle. It should always be worn double thickness. The simplest way to do this is by folding over a single piece, rather than using 2 separate pieces. Visit the How to Use section for diagrams and top tips on how to apply it including how to stop it from rolling down and how to find the right size for you.
It can be worn throughout the day, but should be removed when carrying out any rehab exercises to allow the muscles to get stronger.
Safety Advice: DO NOT wear tubigrip at night as it may end up exerting too high a pressure on the area, reducing circulation.
Tubigrip is the easiest way to apply compression following an injury as part of PRICE treatment (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate). PRICE is usually the first line treatment for any injury and using it can help to reduce pain, speed up healing and prevent any further injury. Find out more about how to effectively use PRICE treatment.
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