Tomorrow, March 6th, the world celebrates the recognition of lymphedema and lymphatic diseases. World Lymphedema Day advocates global priority by engaging governments and researchers in finding advanced treatment, cures and improving quality of life for those who have been affected. Lymphedema also known as a lymphatic obstruction is a long-term condition where excess lymph fluids collect in the body tissue and causes swelling in areas such as your legs. Unfortunately, this condition is incurable and you may feel overwhelmed by the symptoms, however, there are numerous treatments to control and manage lymphedema. Here are a couple recommendations to help you out:
Movement plays an important role in both the prevention and rehabilitation of lymphedema. By incorporating light exercise in your daily routine, the body can circulate lymph fluids to where it needs to go as well as maintain general cardiovascular health. Every person’s body is different so it is recommended to seek out someone with training and expertise in this area to meet your specific needs. Remember to exercise smarter and not necessarily harder to reduce the risk of injury.
Manual Lymphatic Massage Therapy
A lymphatic drainage massage is a great technique to help overall swelling and improve circulation. It gently helps assist the build-up of lymph fluids to properly circulate into the lymph nodes and detoxify before backing into the vessels. This variation of a massage should not be confused with traditional massage as it specifically focuses on the flow of lymphatic fluid and decongestion of affected areas.
Compression therapy is the most commonly used and effective method for managing lymphedema. This method does as the name suggests which is to apply pressure in the affected places and keep lymph fluids moving in the right direction. Nightingale provides a wide variety of compression solutions that can meet all your needs as well as complimentary measuring and fitting from our experienced fitters. Click here to find out more about our compression options or book an FREE consultation online.
Those with lymphedema are more at risk for skin infections such as cellulitis because their bodies are less able to fight infection. Good skincare is essential to reducing the risk of possible infections that can potentially be severe. Here are some recommendations to lower risk:
- Use mild soap, rinse and dry your skin well, especially before you put on clothing
- Use a non-allergenic and unscented moisturizer daily
- Take care of wounds immediately to reduce the chances of infection (you can find a list of Nightingale’s wound and skincare products here)
Lymphedema although incurable, is highly manageable by taking charge and finding balance. The goal is to keep your symptoms and swelling stable and reduce them. This begins with educating yourself as much as you can with lymphedema, monitoring your health, and figuring out what works for you!