Lymphoedema is a form of tissue swelling that develops gradually and can present in any part of the body but more commonly in the legs. If the condition is left unaddressed for an extended period, the common signs and symptoms include:
- Swelling in any part of the body, e.g., legs, feet, arms, head and neck, breast
- Heaviness and restricted movement
- Delayed wound healing
- Skin thickening (fibrosis) and other skin changes or growth
- Repeated infections and sometimes hospitalisation
- Localised discomfort and pain
Signs and symptoms of Lipoedema
Lipoedema is a painful hereditary disorder with disproportionate deposits of fatty tissue, most commonly on the legs, but also affecting the arms – and this occurs in up to 11% of women. Lipoedema usually starts at puberty and can change in times of hormonal changes.
Women with lipoedema often struggle to have their condition recognised and understood and to find good management – our aim is to offer a supportive environment in which we can work with you to find the most effective ways to manage your condition and control its progression.
Management of Lymphoedema
Wendy will aim to work with you to better support your mind and body. As a qualified remedial massage therapist, lymphoedema, and lipoedema practitioner, as well as a counsellor and hypnotherapist, she believes that you are the expert in your own life. Still, sometimes you may need some help to be the best you can be. So If you need to focus on your mind and body, call or email to make an appointment today.
Located at Hamilton, Redcliffe, and providing some services in the comfort of your home*.
*Please discuss with us if you require services in your home, as these are limited.
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
CDT is a comprehensive programme for the management of lymphoedema, with five key components:
- manual lymphatic drainage,
- compression therapy (including bandaging and/or garments),
- education and
The initial stages of CDT consist of intensive treatment and attempting to reduce chronic swelling as much as possible. A less intensive maintenance phase follows the intensive phase of CDT.
It is vital that you are assessed for the stage of your lymphoedema and your personal needs, and then in consultation with you, individually prescribed a treatment programme.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
MLD is a specialised gentle form of massage that helps to move fluid away from the part of your body affected by lymphoedema/swelling. In addition to improving lymphatic circulation, MLD also increases blood flow in deep and superficial veins. Its gentle light touch is very relaxing and is one of the most important treatment options.
Compression Bandaging and garments
Compression bandaging is used in the treatment phase and effectively reduces the volume of a swollen limb. Once this occurs, your lymphoedema is usually best managed with a pressure garment. These are used in the maintenance phase of managing chronic swelling. These garments come from various manufacturers as either off-the-shelf or made-to-measure. Wendy will help you determine the best option for you – not every compression garment is appropriate for every person.
Sequential Compression Pump Therapy
A Sequential Compression Pump is a garment containing chambers that overlap and inflate with air. As the garment inflates, the external pressure on the limb helps blood circulation and pushes lymphatic fluid out of the limb.
Compression pumps are an at-home self-care device, like Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) on hand when needed. If at the end of a long day, during the hot summer months, or after a flight when your limb/s are swollen, you can use the device to help push the fluid out of your limb and improve your blood circulation. You can use it morning and/or night.
It can be used for people with Lymphoedema, Venous Insufficiency, and Restless Legs. It has proven to be an excellent and effective therapy to apply at home successfully. It can be applied even over dressings like in leg ulcers to help wound healing if tolerated. Hassle-free therapy that one can do yourself, as reported by a client. However, in most cases, compression pump therapy is an added treatment with other treatment options.
Education and Self-management
Lymphoedema is a complex and chronic medical condition. It is important to understand the condition and how to manage it long-term.