The impact of decongestive physical therapy and elastic bandaging on the control of pain in patients with venous ulcers

ABSTRACT Objective: to evaluate pain in individuals with venous ulcers treated with elastic bandage and decongestant physical therapy. Methods: we studied 90 patients, divided into three groups with 30 patients each: a group treated with elastic bandage and decongestant physical therapy; a group treated with elastic bandage; and a group treated only with primary dressing according to tissue type and presence of exudate. We used the Pain Numerical Scale to quantify pain intensity and the McGill Pain Questionnaire for pain qualitative assessment. Results: in the first evaluation, all patients who participated in the study reported intense pain. In the fifth evaluation, the majority of patients treated with elastic bandaging and decongestant physical therapy did not report pain; the majority of patients in the elastic bandage group reported mild pain; and most patients treated only with primary dressing reported mild to moderate pain. During all five assessments using the McGill questionnaire, most patients in the elastic bandaging and primary dressing groups used descriptors of the sensory, affective, evaluative and miscellaneous groups to describe their pain. However, in the fourth and fifth evaluations, most patients who received decongestant physical therapy combined with elastic bandaging treatment did not use any of the descriptors. Conclusion: patients treated with decongestant physical therapy and elastic bandage presented pain improvement from the third evaluation performed on.