What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling condition that can occur in one or more areas of the body and is often caused by damage to the lymphatic system. Commonly seen as a side effect of cancer treatment, lymphedema may develop due to removal of lymph nodes, radiation therapy, or even at birth if the lymphatic system develops abnormally. Over time, tissue can harden and scarring may occur if left untreated.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for lymphedema but it can be managed with a combination of complete decongestive therapy (CDT) which helps lower the swelling and minimize any potential infections, skin breakdowns, or other adverse effects.
Symptoms of Lymphedema
Lymphedema symptoms may vary in severity and location, depending on the underlying cause.
The most common symptom of lymphedema is swelling (mainly in the arms or legs), but this may also include a feeling of heaviness or tightness in the limbs, unexplained pain or discomfort in the limbs, aching or throbbing in the affected area, skin changes such as dryness and thickening, difficulty performing everyday tasks due to swollen limbs, and recurrent infections in the skin.
What is Complete Decongestive Therapy?
This technique relies on four components:
Treatment for lymphedema usually involves a comprehensive approach known as complete decongestive therapy (CDT).
• Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
• Compression therapy,
• Decongestive exercises
• Skin/Nail care
CDT is currently the most effective form of conservative treatment for lymphedema and has been proven to help reduce swelling, improve mobility and maintain a state of latency. Unfortunately, since there is currently no cure for the condition, its main goal is to manage the symptoms and prevent further complications.
Booking a lymphedema treatment with a qualified health professional can help you manage your symptoms and take charge of your wellbeing.
Let us take care of you! Book a Lymphedema treatment in Auckland at Lady Lymph.