Information > Glossary

Glossar

Working pressure – resting pressure

Resistance against the extending muscle.

By working pressure we mean the resistance presented by the bandage to the expansion of the muscles during muscle contraction. In other words, the stability of the bandage (or of a compression stocking) creates a very high resistance to stretch when pressure is applied through internal muscle contraction and joint movement.

Pressure of the bandage against the relaxed muscle.

The resting pressure is measured on the unmoved extremity and essentially corresponds to the application pressure, i.e. the force used to stretch the bandage when it is applied, but is also influenced by the individual restoring force of a bandage.

Contraindications

Do not use compression therapy in case of

  • advanced peripheral arterial occlusive disease 
  • decompensated heart insufficiency 
  • ABPI (ankle-brachial pressure index) > 1.3 or < 0.8 
  • intolerance to materials used

For contraindications also see the package leaflets enclosed with the packaging of the individual products.

Short-stretch – long-stretch

Short-stretch bandages are not made using elasticated rubber threads and therefore have only a low restoring force. This means that after extension upon application the bandage does not go back to its original length. Therefore the bandage cannot exert pressure over the leg and has a low resting pressure, yet offers a high resistance to the expansion of the muscles when walking – the so-called working pressure.

Long-stretch bandages are made of elastic fabric consisting of elastic threads, which go back to their original length after extension upon application. This results in a high resting pressure under resting conditions and a low working pressure when the patient is walking, because the highly extensible material offers a low resistance to the expansion of the muscles. Given their high resting pressure, however, long-stretch bandages must be removed overnight when the patient is lying down, as this is a risk factor that might disturb the arterial blood flow.

LaPlace’s law

La Place's law describes the relationship between the pressure and the radius of the vessel to which an outside bandage is applied. The larger the radius of curvature of the body enclosed, the less compression there is. An uniform distribution of pressure could only be achieved if the bandaged leg had an ideal cylindrical shape. This explains why padding of the bony prominences at the sides is a useful measure in this context, in order to distibute pressure evenly and achieve an even pressure effect.

In daily medical practice, flat or concave surfaces such as the instep of the foot or the surfaces at the sides of the Achilles tendon are padded in order to provide complete decongestion. Prominences with a small radius such as the food margins, the ankle area or the shin-bone are padded to prevent pressure damage at these points.

SSI – Static Stiffness Index

The pressure difference between active standing and lying is defined as the static stiffness index (SSI) - when a compression bandage is applied on the lower leg. Short-stretch bandages produce a higher SSI than long stretch bandages. The higher the SSI, the higher the effect exerted by elastic compression during walking.