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Exercises For Lymphedema

Written by Amy Hall
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Therapeutic Exercises for Lymphedema

Exercises for lymphedema are often prescribed to patients as part of a total therapeutic plan that includes Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy, as well as proper hygiene and guidelines for a balanced diet. The important thing to keep in mind, whether you are a therapist who treats lymphedema, or a patient suffering from this condition, is that you have to follow all the steps in a treatment plan for it to be truly beneficial. This means that even if you receive MLD every week and practice proper hygiene, but do not wear your compression garments, you are setting yourself up for a set back in your treatment.

It is imperative that you understand the treatment plan prescribed for you, and that you follow the instructions of your doctor and therapist in order to combat the symptoms of lymphedema. For instance, the MLD can significantly help the swelling and pain associated with lymphedema. But if you do not wear you compression bandages or garments, the swelling will come right back and you will be back where you started.

Following An Exercise Plan

Your physical therapist can prescribe exercises for lymphedema that will help you to increase your mobility in the affected limb. There really is not a generalized list of exercises that can be performed for lymphedema patients. Instead, an individualized plan is put into place after the patient is evaluated.

There are many factors that come into play when determining an exercise program for a patient, such as age and general overall health. Usually, it is recommended that patients avoid exercises that involve high resistance with a lot of repetition. Swimming is acceptable as long as repetitive strokes are not performed, and the patient is careful not to do too much at one time.


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