Lymphedema

A)

Pain-free therapy with Dr. Vodder’s Lymph Drainage

These special strokes will not cause redness of the skin, nor will they cause pain. The speed at which strokes follow on one another is determined by the maximum frequency of lymphangiomotoricity, i.e. the rate of contraction used by the lymphangion to transport the lymph fluid.

The Dr. Vodder technique always begins with treating the lymph nodes and lymph vessels found at the neck and the junction of the large lymph channels in the venous arch on both sides of the body.

For MLD to be effective, use of the proper specialist technique and adaptation of the length of individual therapy sessions to meet the needs of the pathology concerned are essential. A typical MLD session requires 30 to 45 minutes, but may be extended to 90 minutes depending on the indication.

In the early stage of lymphedema management, intensive care is strongly recommended which is 3-5 sessions/week depending on the stages of the lymphedema.

 

B)

In addition to Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage, another important pillar of lymphedema treatment is correct and consistent bandaging. (Compression) bandaging supports the positive effect of MLD and prevent the refill of the fluid to the affected limbs.

Compression Therapy may include the use of short stretch bandaging and compression sleeve.

*                      It supports the elasticity of the skin and underlying tissues so that they may return to their normal shape.

*                      Improves the efficacy of the pumping action of muscles which increases both lymph and venous return

*                      A mild increase in total tissue pressure minimizing arterial filtration which in turn reduce the refilling of fluid in the interstitial tissue.

*                      Helps maintain the shape of the limb.

*                      Also serves to soften fibrosis. Fibrosis are changes in skin texture frequently associated with lymphedema. The proteins accumulated in the tissue cause the tissue to harden which will lead to more swelling as the fibrosis can impede the flow of fluid.

Compression stockings

Wearing compression stockings is indispensable for maintaining the positive effects of Dr. Vodder’s MLD. When the edema is stable, measurements are taken for individually fitted compression stockings, as prescribed by our therapist. These stockings are given to patients for post-intensive therapy which is 2x/week during the early phase of maintenance period.

If patients wear their prescribed stockings on a daily basis, the success of their intensive therapy (edema volume reduction) will be maintained over a long period of time, during which venous and lymphatic return are stimulated and missing tissue pressure is substituted and compensated.

There are two basic types of compression hosiery, flat bed knit stockings and circular knit stockings:

Flat knit stockings: feature seams down the back, are suited for high Compression Classes and offer many made-to-measure varieties for special needs, comfortable to wear

Circular knit stockings: have no seams; suited for lower Compression Classes and comfortable to wear, but provide only a few made-to-measure options for special needs

 

C)

Exercise accelerates the flow of lymph, especially when it is combined with bandaging.

Effect of lymphedema gymnastics

The Dr. Vodder Method of Manual Lymph Drainage results in a marked reduction of edema. To maintain this result or improve it further, the therapist bandages the affected limb(s). Any movement with the bandaged limb will reduce edema volume for the following reasons:

*                      In addition to the "pressure" of the bandages, moving the extremity creates a strong compression with the muscles. All vessels (veins and Lymph vessels )who are in between bandage and muscles will be drained by this force. This leads to an quicker bloodstream and improves a better back flow of the lymphatic system.

*                      Needing more oxygen, the arterial bloodstream will be raised automatically by an higher muscle activity. Close to the arteries a lot of lymph vessels are situated.

*                      Abdominal breathing creates a suction force on the thoracic duct and subclavian juncture.

*                      Reconditioning prepares the lymphatic system to handle greater demands.

The higher pulsation of the arteries has, the more stimulating effect on the lymphatic system. That's why we have a better drainage of the deep lymph vessel system.

Which exercises are best suited for lymphedema patients?

The optimum decongestive exercise for the lower extremities is climbing stairs. We also recommend activities such as cycling, hiking and walking.

Activities such as cleaning, cooking and washing will involve considerable use of the arm muscles. If your daily routine involves engaging in these activities, it is important to know that straining or overusing muscles may lead to inflammation and/or worsening of your edema.

How much exercises can lymphedema patients do?

In most cases, if you begin slowly and gradually, while monitoring the level of edema in your limb, you may be able to resume the activities you enjoyed before like bicycling, swimming, hiking, bowling, golfing skiing and more.

[09:50, 14/02/2022] Enez Natasha: D)Skin Care

Practicing good skin care is very important in reducing the risks of infection.

*                      Wash yourself everyday, using mild soap and warm water. Rinse off the soap completely and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

*                      Apply a thin layer of lotion to your skin to help prevent cracking and irritation due to dryness.

*                      Check your skin everyday for cuts, blisters, rashes, sores, etc.

*                      Avoid injury to your skin from scratches, cuts, and insect bites; especially if swelling is already a problem. Wear long sleeves and gloves when gardening or washing dishes.

*                      Foot Care: If your leg has been affected, wear properly fitting cotton socks and change socks daily. Do not go barefoot. Wear leather or canvas, closed toe, low heel shoes. Consult a podiatri…