Lymphoedema Therapy

Treatment & Management of Lymphoedema
  • Lymphoedema is a long-term, ongoing problem that requires professional management.
  • With proper care, the debilitating affects of lymphoedema can be managed.

What is Lymphoedema?

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  • Lymphoedema is chronic and progressive condition, potentially affecting any part of the body, most commonly seen in the arms and legs
  • The impact can vary from one limb to multiple
  • The swelling can range from mild, near-unnoticeable, to dramatic
  • Extreme cases can cause restricted mobility and limb movement
  • Lymphoedema is a long-term condition where the collection of fluid in tissue causes swelling (edema).
  • This is a condition that requires ongoing management

What causes Lymphoedema?

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  • The lymphatic system is the body’s waste disposal system. It takes bacteria, tissue fluid and waste products away from the tissues surrounding skin, fat, muscle and bone. 
  • If the lymphatic system/vessels are not working correctly an abnormal accumulation of fluid builds up in the tissues (secondary lymphoedema). 
  • This commonly happens as a side-effect of chemotherapy 
  • Primary lymphoedema occurs where the lymphatic system was not formed correctly.This is rare and often genetic 

Symptoms

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Symptoms include:

  • Swelling in the arm and leg. This includes fingers and toes
  • Can be part or all of the limb
  • Heaviness and tight feelings
  • Range of motion restricted
  • Discomfort
  • Aching
  • Infections reoccurring
  • Skin hardening and thickening (fibrosis)

Most people with lymphoedema only have mild symptoms.

Treatment for Lymphoedema

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If you have had radiotherapy or surgery to have lymph nodes removed, there is an increased risk of developing lymphoedema.

If there are signs of early lymphoedema developing, it is critical you are assessed by a qualified lymphoedema therapist to develop an appropriate management plan.
Main elements of therapy includes:

  • Skin care
  • Compression garments
  • Targeted exercise program
  • Shockwave therapy (ESWT)
  • Promotes lympangiogeneis (re-building of the lymphatic system) and ameliorates secondary lymphoedema
  • Manual lymphatic drainage
  • Particularly useful for very large or misshapen limbs and poor skin condition
  • Diet

 

How Shockwave Therapy reduces Lymphoedema

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  • Chronic lymphoedema causes the tissues to fibrose and harden which results in the lymphatic circulation being further compromised
  • Shockwave therapy is an effective modality which is able to break down the fibrosing tissue and re-establish circulation to the area allowing improved lymphatic flow
  • Shockwave therapy can re-establish capillarisation to the area improving lymphatic drainage and decreasing lymphoedema issues

How EMTone improves muscle tone preventing Lymphoedema

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  • Lymphoedema causes increased fluid in an area leading to loss of circulation and therefore loss of muscle tone. 
  • It is often difficult to regain strength in muscles that have been weakened over long periods of time.
  • EMTone is an effective medium to boost muscle activation and tone muscles that have been weakened over a long period of time
  • It employs Tesla wave stimulation via the muscles motor control to enhance activation, tone and strength whilst also promoting circulation
  • Rebuilding muscle mass and strength is a key factor in preventing chronic lymphoedema issues

What to do?

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  • If you are concerned you are experiencing lymphoedema, you should speak to a lymphoedema therapist or physiotherapist as soon as possible.
  • Lymphoedema is a long-term, ongoing problem that requires professional management. 
  • With proper care, the debilitating affects of lymphoedema can be managed. 

Contact us for more information!