Off-loading means no weight-bearing on an extremity. If you are told that you should "off-load," it means that you are not able to walk or bear weight on the extremity that has a wound, or the extremity where a wound appears likely to develop. This includes on your bottom or hips if you are bed or chair-bound.
When you have a non-healing wound, you must do everything possible to give your body a chance to heal the wound. The weight of your body when you walk puts a large amount of pressure on your feet and ankles. This pressure keeps the new tissue from growing and inhibits new blood vessels from forming. If you have a wound on your bottom or hips, to off-load this area requires that you do not sit or lie on the area where the wound is. If you continue to bear weight on a body part that has a wound, the time it takes to heal the wound increases, or, worse yet, the wound may not heal at all!
You may also be asked to off-load is you have problems with fluid retention that makes your feet and legs swell. People with chronic venous stasis have a higher risk of wounds developing on their legs when the fluids in their legs increase.