Remedial Massage & Lymphedema Therapy
What is Lymphoedema ?
Lymphoedema is a swelling in any part of the body caused by an accumulation of protein rich fluid in the tissue which cannot be removed because the lymphatic System is damaged ( Secondary Lymphoedema) or inefficient ( Primary Lymphoedema).
What does the Lymphatic System do?
The lymphatic system is the body’s cleansing system. It removes fluid, protein, large fat cells and waste products from the body tissue. This fluid (called lymph) passes through the lymph nodes where its is filtered and cleansed before being returned to the blood stream. It is also the site of the body’s immune system, where antibodies and antigens are manufactured and released into the blood stream.
What causes Lymphoedema?
There are two main types of lymphoedema:
People may be born with or develop a lymphatic system that does not function properly.
The most common, caused by injury to the lymphatic system, ie , when lymphatic nodes and vessels are removed or damaged through an injury, surgery or treatment for cancer (radiation therapy).
How soon after an injury will lymphoedema develop?
It may start almost immediately, or months or even years later. The average time following injury for lymphoedema to develop is 3 1/2 years.
Can Lymphoedema be cured?
No. There is no cure for lymphoedema at present. It is a progressive condition the without therapeutic management gradually worsens.
What is the management of lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema can be managed by a trained Lymphoedema Therapist and the therapy is commonly called Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT) . A Lymphoedema therapist is trained in some or all of the following techniques:- specialized Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage, laser treatment, compression garments and bandaging, exercises, and limb and skin care to minimize its development. Once Lymphoedema has been diagnosed it is a lifetime management.
Are there good results with proper therapeutic management?
Yes. Perhaps not the same for everyone, but clinical studies have shown that therapeutic management produces reduced limb size, relieves pain and discomfit levels, and increases mobility. It also minimizes the risk of infection or injury to the affected limb and increases the patients general good health and well-being.
Is lymphoedema life threatening?
No. However, if left untreated, limbs can become extremely heavy. This leads to loss of mobility, discomfit, pain, and because the swelling is protein rich, may be a breeding ground for bacteria and prone to infection which is very difficult to treat.
If you think you are at risk.....
People who are at risk of developing lymphoedema can put in place management practices to minimize or prevent the condition from developing or worsening.
Please call Nadene Allan for more information 0435042343.