Lymphoedema is a condition which causes chronic swelling, usually of the arm or leg. It is caused when the drainage systems from the tissues of the body fail in some way.
There are many causes of chronic swelling and initially, they need to be investigated by a doctor or other specialist to identify the cause and best treatment options. If it is felt that Lymphoedema treatments are appropriate a referral can then be made to the Lymphoedema Team.
”My right leg was very swollen but thanks to the Lymphoedema treatment it is now so much better. I can even wear my shoes when I go out and not a pair of slippers. The treatment made a significant difference to my mobility and lifestyle.”
Clinics are held in Dalston, Penrith and Wigton. Home visits are arranged for those who are housebound. During an initial consultation, a full assessment is undertaken to determine the impact the swelling has on the individual’s day to day life. A treatment plan is then developed which may include some or all of the following;
- Skin Care – This helps to reduce the risk of complications such as infection.
- Compression therapy – This will be in the form of either compression bandaging or supportive hosiery (stockings, sleeves or wraps).
- Advice regarding exercise and positioning of the limb – To make the patient more comfortable.
- Massage – This may be daily self-massage or Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) which is performed by us.
- Lymph taping – This uses a special kind of therapeutic tape that encourages movement of the fluid under the skin.
- Physiotouch – This works by using negative pressure (suction) over the tissues to help stimulate the lymphatic system to drain more effectively.
A lot of lymphoedema treatment is based around self-care and we will help patients to manage their condition with help from their carers if necessary.