Basic bandaging techniques

There are a variety of basic bandaging techniques, and in this post we will explain the most common and basic ones. We will also include some photos of the process of each bandage technique.

Spiral bandaging

In this technique, the bandage is applied obliquely, so that each turn partially overlaps with the previous turn.

It is important to pay attention to the amount of overlap, especially in compression bandages where the number of passes over a point will affect its final compression. By way of example, in this bandaging technique, if we apply the bandage with a 50% overlap, the bandage will pass over the same point twice. If the overlap is 75%, the bandage will pass over the same point three times. 

This widely used bandaging technique should be applied starting from the distal end of the body (the part which is further away from the heart, such as the foot or wrist) to the proximal end of the body (the part closer to the heart). In the case of the leg, for example, bandaging would begin at the base of the toes and go upwards to the knee. Some of the uses of spiral bandaging include compression (such as for venous ulcers), to support dressings, for the attachment of splints and to protect areas from mechanical injuries and infections.

How is a spiral bandage applied?

The application of this bandage on a leg begins by securing the ankle with a figure-of-eight bandage (Image 1 to 4), to continue with the spiral bandage itself (image 5 to 8). If it were on an arm, it would be a similar procedure, the bandage technique would be applied to hold the wrist first,  and then the bandage would be made in a spiral shape.

Image 1: The bandage begins a few centimeters from the most distal area. And it takes one or two laps.

Image 2: A figure eight is made around the ankle avoiding covering the heel.

Image 3: After performing the figure-eight bandage, the heel is covered.

Image 4: Go up to the top of the ankle to start the spiral bandage.

Image 5: Start the spiral bandage with the desired overlap.

Image 6: As can be seen, the overlap must be constant throughout the entire bandage.

Image 7: The bandage will be made for the entire member. In the case of the leg, up to a few cm below the knee.

Image 8: Lastly, if necessary, a couple of strips can be placed to fix the end of the bandage.

Circular bandaging

The circular bandage is a specific case of the spiral bandage. It is applied in such a way that each turn of the bandage overlaps the previous one 100%, or in other words, each turn completely covers the previous one.

This technique is mainly used for prevent and control bleeding. Its use is very specific since, when a 100% bandage overlap is applied, it can generate complications due to a cut in blood circulation.

Vendaje en espiga

This bandaging technique consists of an oblique application to the axis of the limb being bandaged. The bandage is applied at an angle of 30-45 degrees upwards and downwards, so that the first turn is applied upwards and the second downwards. As more and more layers overlap, this generates 30-40% more compression than if the bandage were applied in a spiral. When it comes to the overlap between the wraps of the bandage, this also varies depending on its application, but usually ranges between 50% and 75% overlap.

  • For a 50% overlap, it passes over the same point four times. Double the pressure levels compared to the 50% spiral technique that would go through each point twice.
  • For a 75% overlap, it passes over the same point six times. In this case, it triples the pressure levels compared to the 50% spiral technique.

This technique is used mainly for compressive purposes. To observe how to apply this bandaging technique in practice check the following guidelines.

How is a vendaje en espiga applied?

The application of this bandage begins by fastening the ankle with a figure-eight bandage (Image 1 to 4), to continue with the ascending / descending bandage along the leg (image 5 to 9).

Image 1: We start with the most distal part of the limb to be bandaged.

Image 2: We make a figure eight bandage around the heel, always without covering it.

Image 3: The crossover of the figure eight will always be found on the front of the leg.

Image 4: Once the figure-of-eight bandage has been made, the heel is covered and the spike-shaped bandage is started.

Image 5: The beginning of the turn will be ascending. This will be a half turn behind the leg.

Image 6: To later make the next half turn in a downward direction.

Image 7: Next we will start the half turn up again applying the desired overlap.

Image 8: And again a half turn down. This procedure will be carried out throughout the area to be bandaged.

Image 9: Once finished, you can put some strips of waiting if necessary.

Recurrent bandaging

This bandage is applied from the proximal end to the distal end. More specifically, it is used on the scalp, stumps (amputated limbs) and fingers or toes.

This type of bandage combines different types of turns, where the aim is to cover the amputated area to protect it. Unlike other techniques, this will begin in the proximal area, fixing the bandage with a circular turn, applied without tension, then the bandage is directed towards the distal area, the end of the stump, covers it and returns to the proximal area. From there, a herringbone bandage is started to cover the entire affected area.

As a precaution, it must be taken into account that the applied tension does not impede circulation and that it contributes to the formation of the stump.


How is a recurrent bandage applied?

Image 1: We start in the proximal area, fixing the bandage with a circular turn without tension.

Image 2: Later we go to the distal area and perform a half turn.

Image 3: we return to the proximal area and perform another circular turn without tension.

Image 4: We carry out the three previous steps a second time.

Image 5: Next we cover the central point of the stump.

Image 6: After this we start with a herringbone bandage to cover the rest of the leg.

Image 7: As we have mentioned before, the herringbone bandage combines ascending/descending turns.

Image 8: After the bandage we can fix the bandage with clips or adhesive tape.

Vendaje en forma de ocho

This bandaging technique is intended for use on joints such as the elbow, knee or ankle. It should be applied in the functional position of the joint (elbow at 90º, knee at 20º, etc.).

The procedure is the same as in steps 1 through 4 for the spiral bandage already mentioned above. It is used as a joint support as it still allows some joint mobility, while keeping it somewhat rigid and preventing full extension of the joint.

How is a Figure-of-eight bandage applied?

Image 1: The bandage begins a few centimeters from the most distal area. And it takes one or two laps.

Image 2: A half turn is made from the upper part to the ankle and then a lower half turn.

Image 3: We repeat this process for 5 or 6 times and fix the end of the bandage with a few pieces of hope cloth if necessary.


As we have seen, there are many ways to make a bandage. During this post we have tried to show the most common ones, and in later posts we will show these same bandages applied to specific bandages. One case will be with compressive bandages, focused on the treatment of venous ulcers and another will be the case of functional bandages, more focused on the treatment of muscle injuries and rehabilitation.

Produced by the Technical Department of Calvo Izquierdo S.L.

with the collaboration of Carmen Alba Moratilla.




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