How to strap an elbow

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to strap an elbow
Strapping the elbow will make it more comfortable after an injury. (pink bandage image by Keith Frith from

Strapping an elbow may be necessary if you or someone you know falls or suffers an injury while participating in a sport. If the patient does not have a broken bone, strapping the elbow will make the patient feel less vulnerable to further injury and help ease the pain. It will reduce any swelling, help hold wound bandages, ice or heat packs in place. Do not wrap the elbow too tightly or incorrectly; this can cut off circulation and make the injury worse.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Elastic bandage ( approximately 3 by 5 yards)
  • First aid tape

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  1. 1

    Instruct the patient to sit in a comfortable position with his elbows slightly flexed. Make sure he has a strong pulse in his wrist and that he is able to move his fingers. If not, take the patient to an emergency room or a doctor to get X-rays and treatment.

  2. 2

    Start wrapping the elastic bandage about midway between the wrist and the elbow. Overlap the bandage about half way as you wind it around the arm.

  3. 3

    Wrap the elastic bandage snugly, but do not get it so tight that it will cut off the circulation. Instruct the patient to tell you if it feels uncomfortable or too tight. If the first attempt to wrap the elbow is too tight, have the patient flex his muscle slightly while quickly wrapping his elbow. Once the elbow is wrapped and the muscle is no longer flexed, it should be a perfect fit.

  4. 4

    Cover the elbow area fully with the elastic bandage. This will result in a more precise fit and help protect against any further injury.

  5. 5

    Continue wrapping the elbow with the bandage until it is about midway between the elbow and the shoulder, around the bicep area.

  6. 6

    Secure the elastic bandage using the metal clips included with the bandage, or first aid tape.

  7. 7

    Check the pulse again and ensure that the bandage is not too restrictive or tight.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase elastic bandages at any discount store or pharmacy.

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