We are 160,104 members in 80 forums discussing 126,378 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Lymphedema → Topic: instruction on how to wrap your hand and arm

Topic: instruction on how to wrap your hand and arm

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Jun 19, 2008 03:07PM

jinky wrote:

I have the instruction in color( how to wrap your arm and hand)  step by step as i saved it in my document

when it was on our website.

The link on the INTERNET won't work.

Just for the heck of it i send it to my e-mail and i got it okay.

I don't know how to post it here from my documents.....maybe someone can tell me.

If you really want it i can send it to you. If we get it on here you should print it out as i don't know if the other link will ever work again. You could save it on your computer to.

Maybe (Binney may know) if we can have it at the top of our page for everyone to use.

bc and le hugs jinky (carol) you can pm me if you want to

age 2, grade 1, 4 chemo, 5 yrs tamoxifen, femara 48mts, preventative mastectomy 2005 Dx 4/30/2002, ILC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 1, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Page 2 of 2 (58 results)

Posts 31 - 58 (58 total)

Log in to post a reply

Mar 12, 2009 01:18AM Binney4 wrote:

Hi, enjoylife,

Do you know the name of the machine you'll be getting? There are a number of pneumatic pumps on the market, and several of the women here on the boards have them and use them successfully. Flexitouch on Lymphapress are two of the companies. But the machine won't do all the work for you -- just help with the self-massage. You'll still need to do part of the massage yourself, wrap and wear compression garments as needed, exercise, and all the other things you mentioned.

It can be hard to find a fitter who knows what they're doing! Here's a page with information on how to know if the fit (and the fitter!) is right:


It really sounds like you're doing lots for yourself. When your arm feels heavy try to elevate it as much as you can, even on a pillow at night if you can do that. It can also help then to do the wrapping you learned. Stay well hydrated -- it's especially hard to remember to drink enough throughout the day when the weather is cool, so you have to find ways to remind yourself. Another thing that helps is stopping to take a few deep abdominal breaths throughout the day, as that stimulates the lymph system and keeps things moving.

Please keep us posted on how it goes with the machine. The companies are supposed to train you to use it correctly, so insist on getting the help you need with it. I hope you find it both helpful with the lymphedema, and wonderfully relaxing!


Log in to post a reply

Mar 12, 2009 10:11PM unique wrote:

Hello Binney and all ~

I got a compression sleeve, and I'm wondering how it's supposed to fit. The first one seemed WAY too tight, this one seems okay but when I bend my arm it really cuts into the inside of my elbow. Is that right?

Annie - L. Mast, Taxotere/Cytoxan x4, 33 Radiation Tx Dx 6/11/2008, ILC, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Mar 13, 2009 12:21AM Binney4 wrote:

Unique, if it's actually cutting in and leaves indentations in the elbow area that last for a long time after you take it off, that's not good. But new sleeves often feel crummy in the elbow, since your skin is definitely not used to being squeezed like that. Try patting some cornstarch in the elbow crease before you put the sleeve on. (I take a clean cotton sock and dump some cornstarch into the toe, then close up the top with a rubber band and just pat the cornstarch on right through the sock -- keeps it from spilling all over the floor). Don't wear it too long at first, stretching the time a bit longer if you find you can tolerate it.

Hope that helps!

Log in to post a reply

Mar 23, 2009 04:25PM , edited Mar 23, 2009 04:28PM by webwriter

You all are a godsend! Thank you for sharing so much with everyone on this. I'm going to sit back and learn the rest of the day, but wanted to pop in and let you know you're helping far more than you know. Some of us search and read, search and read...and we're finding you! Thanx!

Gotta go call my therapist/fitter. My glove is the perfect match for the bad fit pics posted here: 


Without you all, I'd have never known!

www.acoffeebreakcafe.com/CBC/b... Dx 11/24/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/19 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 11, 2009 01:13PM srhoden90 wrote:

hello...i just had a radical mastectomy on my left side am having trouble with my range of motion as well as lymphedema.  they sent me to physical therapy and i was taught to wrap it, but the wraps seem inconvenient only cause you have to reroll them after using them.  is there any type of exercise that can be done to decrease the swelling as well as improve my range of motion?  with my first surgery ( a lumpectomy and lymph dissection) i had no problems with lymphedema.  with this most recent surgery, they found another tumor in the corner of the armpit and could not surgically remove it because they were unsure of how big it was.  i think my lymphedema is caused by the new discovery.  i go for mri as well as a pet scan so that the doctors can assess and restage me.  if possible, can you please send me the instructions on how to wrap your hand and arm?  also, i just want to let everyone know that i have been thru chemo and radiation (it ended in april of this year) and they still found tumor in the breast that they removed as well as the new tumor in my armpit.  go figure, i am now looking for a new oncologist.

Dx 5/13/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIC, 17/33 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Jul 12, 2009 02:57PM Binney4 wrote:

Hello, Srhoden, and welcome!

Really happy you found us, but sure am sorry for the reasons that bring you here. You must be so exhausted from all the treatment, followed by such discouraging newsFrown. Prayers for a new oncologist you can trust and depend on, and a great outcome to the next steps of treatment. Please do keep us posted on what you discover.

Since you've already learned how to wrap your arm, these resources can refresh your memory and keep you moving forward:


Or check out the On-line Self-Care Videos here:


As an alternative for the inconvenience of wrapping every night, some of us use night garments such as those made my Solaris-Tribute or JoviPak. They're bulky but comfortable, easy to care for, and much less work than wrapping. Since you're now facing more hassle with tests and treatment, a night sleeve with attached gloves would certainly make your life easier. JoviPak is softer than Solaris, but Solaris will make theirs with a full arm-length zipper for ease of donning. So, choices to make!Undecided

In case you don't currently have a lymphedema therapist you can depend on, here's a page with information on how to find a well-qualified one near you:


Please tell us how we can help, SR. Very gentle (((((hugs))))),

Log in to post a reply

Jul 24, 2009 09:41AM , edited Jul 24, 2009 10:01AM by ConnieB

I have had a radical mascetomy on my left side with two positive lymph nodes in 2007.  It seems that every complication due to breast cancer that one can possibly get, I have gotton.  I am getting to the point where I stay as far away from a hospital as possible.  I have gotten blood clots, to infected port infected PICC line, developed asthma and now lyphademia is the latest of my list of complications.  I have finally finished with the chemo and radiation last February.  But now I have just recently been diagnosed with Lymphademia in my left hand and arm.  Worse in my hand and fingers than the arm.  Every time I leave the therapist office and try to practice at home, it never comes out quite right.  Does anyone have step by step instructions on how to manually wrap a hand and arm?  I don't use the foam that I have seen online in a few places.  I use artiflex to wrap the hand and fingers and three different sizes of short stretch on top of that going all the way up the arm.  Thanks. 

Log in to post a reply

Jul 24, 2009 06:09PM OneBadBoob wrote:

Hi Connie and welcome to our group.

As Binney states above, please go to http://www.stepup-speakout.org/wrapping_bandaging_for_lymphedema.htm as well as http://www.nwlymphedemacenter.org/

Another suggestion is for you to do the wrapping at your therapists office, where she can watch exactly the way you are doing it, and correct you if she feels you are not getting it "right."  And you can ask questions about the parts that seem to be the most difficult for you.

Be patient!  Learning to wrap properly does not happen overnight, but eventually you will get it down pat!

Jane - Dance as if no one is watching!! Dx 7/7/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 16, 2010 08:57PM paintpam55 wrote:

Hi Jinky,

I just looked at this topic (I'm new to this board).  How can I get a copy of the instruction in color( how to wrap your arm and hand)  step by step. It would really be helpful for me.  I think this self bandaging is so hard.  It seems like I never do it like the PT does.  Do I need to give you my email address?  Thanks.

Dx 8/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 2/15 nodes, ER+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 17, 2010 06:43PM , edited Feb 17, 2010 06:46PM by Binney4

Hi, paintpam

Jinky comes around only rarely now (she's on top of her LE and moving on to other thingsSmile), but the instructions she mentions in this post have been incorporated into this page:


Hope that helps some. Wrapping is a steep learning curve, for sure (understatement!!!)  Our PTs, have two hands, a career interest in physiology, and a wealth of experience. While we have one hand, little or no experience, and no interest whatever in our own lymph system until this stupid LE hit.

On the other hand, we also have a compelling reason to learn it, so...onward anyhow!Undecided

It gets easier, honestSmile,

Log in to post a reply

Apr 9, 2010 04:37AM Scoobydoo wrote:

I have a great dvd my pt gave me on wrapping.  I can possibly have copies made to make available to anyone who needs it.

Let me know.


Started Chemo 9/17/09 Finished 1/4/10 TX 4 DD AC and 4 DD Taxol Started Chlodronate 1/28/10 , start rads 2/16/10 Dx 6/4/2009, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 16, 2010 05:54AM ansted1921 wrote:

I am new on this site.  I would really appreciate having the instructions for wrapping my arm and hand.  I had lymphedema before I was diagnosed.  I was operated a week ago and my arm is more swollen than before.  I live in Italy and they don't know much about this problem.  Could you send it to me, please?  I will wait for a while before I wrap myself, but I would like to know how.  Thanks so much.  ansted1921

Dx 7/19/2009, Paget's, 2cm, Stage IIB, 12/12 nodes, mets, ER+
Log in to post a reply

Apr 16, 2010 08:38AM kira wrote:

Anstead, wrapping really has to be taught by a qualified lymphedema therapist--it's a skill and it requires a lot of careful instruction.

Can you get a referral to a lymphedema therapist?

For now, raise your arm on pillows, drink a lot of fluids, and do deep breathing.

Unfortunately, there's no substitute for getting treated by a trained therapist, and wrapping incorrectly could be harmful.

Please let us know how you are doing.


Knowledge is the antidote to fear, Ralph Waldo Emerson Dx 5/10/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Apr 16, 2010 11:44AM , edited Apr 16, 2010 11:49AM by Binney4

Welcome, Ansted!

I agree with Kira -- books and DVDs about Manual Lymph Drainage and wrapping are great to use as reminders about the method, but it has to be learned from a lymphedema therapist first. Partly, that's because it complicated, but mostly it's because we're all different and need adjustments made  that only a professional can determine.

I don't know where you are in Italy, but there's a well-trained lymphedema therapist in Milan that you could at least call and ask about lymphedema treatment in your area:

Cinzia Pirro, MT
Paderno Dugnano, Milan
02 99049602

And here's a cancer research center in Florence that published a 2001 research paper on lymphedema, so they may be a good resource too:
Breast Unit, Centro per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica, Viale Volta 171, 50131 Florence, Italy. cspo@ats.it

There's a book available on-line called "Lymphedema: A Breast Cancer Patient's Guide to Prevention and Healing" by Burt and White that may be of help to you in giving you an overview of what treatment involves. Please stay in touch and let us know how you're doing.

Be well!

Log in to post a reply

May 11, 2010 10:03PM Meggy wrote:

I'm just starting to wrap.  Made my left arm worse (I clearly have compression sensitivity...moving on to the other arm now and leaving my delicate arm alone....it likes that)

Does everyone put the foam thing on the back of the hand?  Is that important? 

Also,my therapist used white felt instead of the foam-like layer.  Does anyone else use that?  Which would be better for compression sensitivity?

Triple Negative IDC Neoadjuvant chemo 2/08 of 4 dosedense A/C then 4 Taxol, Bilat 6/08, then 2 more AC, then 4 Carbo/Taxotere Node Positive (5+) exact number unknown due to neoadjuvant chemo, then Rads Dx 1/9/2008, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/2/2008 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2008 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 6/4/2008 Adriamycin, Carboplatin, Cytoxan, Taxotere Radiation Therapy 9/10/2008 Dx
Log in to post a reply

May 11, 2010 11:16PM Binney4 wrote:

Meggy, hi again,

I'm compression sensitive too, and the foam works much better for me than the Artiflex (which is sort of like thin, white felt). I have to wrap both arms pretty loosely, while still maintaining the graduated (gradient) pressure. It took my therapist only two days to figure out that looser is better for me. I also have to wrap my fingers, or the whole hand gets a lot worse.

When it comes to day garments there are only a couple of brands I can wear -- softer fabric, looser than the fitters are accustomed to making them. Otherwise everything swells more and it HURTS.  I think these things are harder for women who have a small build.

Let us know what you discover!

Log in to post a reply

May 15, 2010 09:33PM Meggy wrote:

Binney thanks so much! 

Also, out here they are so booked up that they only give you 3 appointments a week so I am left wrapping my self right out of the gate (an I'm very inexperienced).  Is that the norm elsewhere?  

Triple Negative IDC Neoadjuvant chemo 2/08 of 4 dosedense A/C then 4 Taxol, Bilat 6/08, then 2 more AC, then 4 Carbo/Taxotere Node Positive (5+) exact number unknown due to neoadjuvant chemo, then Rads Dx 1/9/2008, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/2/2008 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 5/10/2008 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 6/4/2008 Adriamycin, Carboplatin, Cytoxan, Taxotere Radiation Therapy 9/10/2008 Dx
Log in to post a reply

May 15, 2010 11:25PM Binney4 wrote:

Meggy, it's not ideal, but in many places lymphedema therapists are way overbooked. But it's not all bad, either, as jumping right in is a good way to learn quickly. Also frustrating!Tongue out Plan plenty of time, sit somewhere comfortable (I sit in the middle of my bed so if I drop the end it doesn't unroll across the floor) -- and try to keep your sense of humor intact!Undecided

Be well!

Log in to post a reply

Sep 25, 2010 07:01AM Suzybelle wrote:

Okay, experts - I 'thought' I had bandaging down, but the last two nights I have been doing something to cause my hand to blow up.  I will wake up in the a.m. and my arm is fine, but the hand is like a little yellow balloon.  Am i wrapping the arm too tight and the hand not tight enough????

The mini-balloon goes down after an hour or so of elevating, but it's annoying.

What am I doing wrong?

Dx 1/27/2010, ILC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+
Log in to post a reply

Feb 10, 2011 02:40AM r1zbear wrote:

Thank you, Fumi! You're such an incredible problem solver!

Watch Just Go with It Online Free

Log in to post a reply

Feb 11, 2011 02:26AM nowheregirl wrote:


Oops sorry I totally forgot about this when I moved my entire website to a new domain. The link I originally posted was no longer working. I've editied my original post to correct the link but will post it here just in case.





Dx 7/7/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 7/8/2005 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2006 Surgery 3/22/2006 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 4/7/2006 Taxol Radiation Therapy 8/21/2006
Log in to post a reply

Oct 22, 2011 01:12AM AnnetteS wrote:

I start my therapy on Monday.  They gave me a list of materials to purchase, but foam was not on the list.  Do some people wrap without foam? Or, do you think that the therapist will provide the foam?

Bilateral breast cancer diagnoses within a week of each other. Dx 9/20/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Oct 22, 2011 01:30AM Binney4 wrote:

Annette, wrapping materials can be quite variable. Some therapists prefer a thinner cotton type wrap -- Artiflex is the name of one product like that, but there are others as well. And some don't wrap with foam spiraled up the arm like this, but cut sheets of thin foam to the shapes they want. So, lots of other products out there, but the purpose of the wrapping is always the sameSmile.

Let us know how it goes on Monday! This is a steep learning curve, and it can feel really awkward. We're all here for you -- tell us how we can help!

Be well,

Log in to post a reply

Oct 22, 2011 10:17AM AnnetteS wrote:

Thanks Binney,

I did buy some Artiflex, so that explains it.  So it looks like my arm might not be as bulky as I was anticiapting. Cool

I was wondering  if anyone has used anything to cover the wrapped arm to take a shower? I was told to take off the wrap and shower before coming to my appoinment, which is after work, but I don't think I can get up in the morning and go to work without a shower.....

Bilateral breast cancer diagnoses within a week of each other. Dx 9/20/2010, IDC, 4cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/24 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Oct 22, 2011 03:17PM , edited Oct 22, 2011 03:18PM by BeckySharp

Annette--When I was wrapped I would take a 13 gallon trash bag and pull up under my armpit.  I then put a big rubber band around my wrist and under the armpit.  I had to wash my hair and self with plastic on my hand but it worked for me.  I never got the wrapping wet.  Becky

Becky Dx 1/20/2011, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Oct 23, 2011 07:53PM garnet131 wrote:

I used a trash bag also, but it was 30 gal wrapped around since I didn't have smaller ones. I had a stretchy hair handband in bathroom drawer that fit over bandage to keep it it dry. Held that arm up and just used one hand and it was workable.

Just reviewed the wrap instructions and realized that I forgot the foam layer when I wrapped yesterday--duh--and that was with the step-by-step instructions right in front of me! 

Log in to post a reply

Oct 31, 2011 02:52PM , edited Oct 31, 2011 02:53PM by RajinCajin

Just thought I would put a post on this to keep it in the forefront.  It seems there are many more out there, dealing with Lymphedema than i originally thought.  

Thought I would repost the web site previously posted for propper wrapping techniques.  


I am two years out from my surgery and still have issues with Lymphedema.  Currently I use the Flexitouch massage system.  It is very wonderful.  I also have a night garment call the Opera Glove.  Personally, though, I prefer the wraps to the sleeve.   

Dx 6/5/2009, IDC, 5cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 4/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Oct 1, 2012 03:22PM Cheryl417 wrote:

Please send it to me, I am starting the compressive Decongestive thearpy on Monday. cherylrichard417@gmail.com
Dx 8/3/2012, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/16/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary, Left, Right

Page 2 of 2 (58 results)