Lymphoedema is a long-term condition where excess fluid collects in tissues causing swelling (edema). Lymphoedema can affect any area of the body, but is commonly found in the arms or legs.
Our Lymphoedema specialists can provide education, massage therapy, compression aids and more to help you get back in control. With full progress tracking throughout your journey with us, you can take the guess work out of trying to manage your condition.
Why wait? Book in now to speak to one of our Lymphoedema specialists today!
Special 3 part blog series!
Early Signs of Lymphoedema
- Aching or tingling feeling visible swelling
- Tightness, heaviness or fullness
- Pitting of the skin
- Discomfort when trying to fully move the affected limb
Stages of Lymphoedema
Circulation and drainage of lymph fluid is affected but there is no swelling.
Fluid gathers and causes mild swelling that subsides when the affected limb is elevate; there may be pitting of the swollen skin (pitting is when an indentation or mark remains in the skin after pressure is applied).
Swelling does not reduce when the affected limb is elevated; pitting of the skin is present; tissues begin to harden.
There is a large amount of fluid; tissue in the affected area is hard; there is no pitting of the skin; the appearance of the skin changes (e.g. thickened areas, dark patches and wart-like bumps can appear).
Lymphoedema and Cancer
Lymphoedema is a common side affect after cancer surgery and radiation therapy. It can appear months or even years following cancer treatment. Lymphoedema is the build up of large amounts of protein-rich fluid (called Lymph) which results in swelling in one or more limbs of the body. It often occurs when the lymphatic vessels or nodes have been damaged after chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.
While it can’t be cured completely, it can be reduced and managed with appropriate physiotherapy care. Treatment for lymphoedema is called ‘complex decongestive physiotherapy’ and is aimed at reducing swelling through massage, bandaging, compression garments, exercises and skin care. The earlier it is assessed, diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.
Total Physiocare has Lymphoedema Physiotherapists who can assist in the management of lymphoedema following cancer treatment.
Although there is no way to know for sure whether you will develop lymphoedema after cancer therapy, you can certainly help yourself minimise the risk of developing it. Your initial session with our specialist will leave you with:
- Extensive knowledge about the risk factors and early symptoms for the condition
- Have a baseline measurement of your limbs to enable you to make comparisons if you start to notice symptoms in the future.
- Know the three best techniques to avoid developing lymphoedema
The early detection and management of the condition can significantly reduce the long-term physical, functional and psychological effects caused by late diagnosis and poor management of the condition.
Our Lymphoedema Physiotherapists will be able to assist with assessment and treatment. (*Available at all Clinics)