Bandaging for immediate treatment of injury is part of the RICER (Rest, Ice Compression, Elevation, Referral) first aid treatment for soft tissue injuries. Bandaging plays an important role in this immediate treatment of injuries. It helps to decrease bleeding and inflammation, while also providing support, especially if the injury is at a joint.
The use of compression bandaging for immediate treatment of injury applies pressure to the injured areas and helps force fluid away from the area, or restricts fluid coming to the areas, reducing inflammation. This helps prevent damage from too much inflammation, which can damage tissue. Bandaging applies pressure to the injured area, which also reduces bleeding. This helps decrease the debris needing to be cleaned up by the immune system, which speeds up recovery allowing a faster return to play.
The bandage also helps reduce movement, limiting re-injury, and providing support for the injured area. In applying the bandage, it should go across the joint, connecting two (2) or more bones on either side. This along with the pressure applied from the bandage provides stability and support to the joint.
Bandaging for immediate treatment of injury will also restrict movement, but not so much as to impede rehabilitation. Bandaging should allow for regular muscle contraction and a fair range of motion to promote rehabilitation.