How to Treat Lymphedema ①
While it is difficult to completely cure lymphedema once it has developed, you can make it less likely to develop by paying attention in your daily life. When the onset of the disease is detected early and treatment is started, some will practically return to their original state, and even in cases where a long period has passed since the onset of the disease, you can combine it with surgical treatment to make your life easier. It is important to take care of the patient without giving up.
1 . Skin Care
Swollen skin is easily damaged and inflamed, so one needs to be careful about infections such as cracks and athlete’s foot. Use moisturizing creams and appropriate ointments. Daily care is important as lymphangitis and cellulitis from infections can lead to increased edema
2 . Manual Lymphatic Drainage
This is a slow and gentle massage method that differs from esthetic massages (cosmetic drainage) and is used to drain lymph fluid from the skin and subcutaneous tissues to guide it to the normal lymph nodes. It also has the effect of loosening hardened skin and improving skin condition.
3 . Compression Therapy
Fluid in the body tends to accumulate in the fingers and toes due to gravity, and sufficient compression is applied to prevent the lymphatic fluid extracted via lymphatic drainage from returning to its original state due to its effects. While elastic bandages, stockings, sleeves, etc. are used, be careful not to use ones that do not fit your body as they might make things worse.
4. Exercise Therapy Under Compression
Lymphatic vessels are activated by exercising the muscles while pressure is applied. It doesn’t have to be strenuous – just do exercises that can be done every day. Taking a walk, grabbing and relaxing your arms, bending and stretching your ankles and knees, etc. are sufficient.
林明辰 Akitatsu Hayashi