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Lymphedema Treatments

Written by Amy Hall
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Helpful Lymphedema Treatments

Lymphedema treatments consist of Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy, as well as the patient wearing compression garments and practicing meticulous skin care. A physical or occupational therapist will also show the patient how to do remedial exercises at home that will help improve the condition by stimulating lymph flow.

It is important that lymphedema is treated at the first signs of symptoms, which include swelling, a heavy feeling in the extremity, and a tight feeling of the skin. If swelling continues without any intervention, it becomes very difficult to reverse the process. Compression garments work best when they are worn before the swelling grossly disfigures the affected arm or leg.

Getting Relief with MLD

One of the best lymphedema treatments today is Manual Lymph Drainage, sometimes used in conjunction with Complete Decongestive Therapy. In MLD, massage is performed on the patient using light strokes, that aim to stimulate the flow of lymph throughout the body. This is a painless, non-invasive approach to treating the swelling that often accompanies lymphedema, while it provides stress-free relaxation to the patient.

Patients are also shown how to perform some remedial exercises that will help with flexibility and keep muscle atrophy at bay. Exercise performed under the care of a therapist will also help stimulate lymph flow, so the swelling is kept under control. Compression garments should be worn as directed, and it is very important to keep skin clean and dry at all times, in order to avoid infection.

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