A comprehensive overview of lymphedema covering subjects as symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
The pneumatic pumps have long been used in the treatment of lymphedema. There are several models of lymphedema pumps. The protocols for using these pumps also vary widely, with times of 20 min / d at 8 hr / d and pressures from 30 to 120 mm Hg; there is no consensus in the literature as to what are the most effective lymphedema pumps, at what pressure and for what length of time. The lack of guidelines and of medical monitoring for the appropriate use of these lymphedema pumps has resulted in a frustration of many women about the poor results obtained after several hours of use.
At the XIV International Lymphology Congress held in Washington DC in 1993, it was agreed that the pumping, in order to be beneficial, should not be used alone but in combination with other treatment modalities. Specifically, the portion of the trunk adjacent to the affected limb must be emptied by manual lymphatic drainage in combination with pumping to avoid the swelling of the chest wall.
The use of the compression lymphedema pump should be done under strict medical supervision to ensure the proper monitoring as to its effectiveness.
Exercise is a generally accepted mode of lymphedema treatment. However, the specific type of exercise recommended may vary widely. The logic of using exercises is based on the physiological fact that the lymphatic fluid moves with the motion of bodies, because muscle contractions are used as a pump that can facilitate lymph flow.
One might observe the sudden appearance of lymphedema with the overuse or the forced use of the limb. Each woman should find the degree of tolerance of its own member to exercise without reaching the opposite effect of increasing the edema. A controlled program of lymphedema exercises should be instituted. Activities can range from simple prescribed exercises of flexibility in light of strengthening exercises using weights. Then you progressively increase the exercise intensity depending on the degree of your tolerance. If there is, at any time, adverse effects (such as pain or increased swelling), then we should decrease the intensity of these exercises.
A program of aerobic lymphedema exercises (which could include walking or cycling) could also be a beneficial complementary treatment of lymphedema. A fall in the intrathoracic pressure occurs with abdominal breathing, which causes a suction force that can facilitate the lymph flow.
The infection can manifest by one or more of the following symptoms: rash, red skin, tingling of the region, discoloration, increased swelling and / or the temperature of the skin, feeling of heaviness in the limb (more than usual), pain and in many cases the sudden onset of high temperature and chills.
The treatment of this infection is to immediately stop all the modalities of treatment of lymphedema (including manual lymphatic drainage, bandaging, lymphedema pumps, wearing of compression) and you must call the doctor as soon as possible. The treatment prescribed by the doctor consists of antibiotics. When traveling, always bring along an antibiotic or the prescription.
The consumption of 2 liters of water per day is recommended to maintain a balance in the body; the need for liquid increases on very hot weather, or in terms of loss of the moisture of the air, when the body quickly looses its fluids. A sufficient quantity of water consumption is very important after lymphedema treatment which also includes manual lymphatic drainage or the use of a device based on a lymphedema air pump, because you have to eliminate the impurities that were introduced in circulation during these maneuvers.