What is Lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is a chronic condition that is characterised by swelling in a part/s of the body. It could be the arm, leg, trunk or face that is affected. The swelling is an accumulation of fluid in the spaces between the cells in the affected area, and comes about if the body’s lymphatic transport system has failed.
The lymphatic system is a network of lymphatic vessels, which remove fluid from the tissues, and lymph nodes, which filter and destroy bacteria. This system usually drains fluid from the tissues, filters bacteria and then re-distributes the fluid back into the circulation.
When the vessels or nodes are not functioning properly, the affected area can become swollen and more prone to infection.
Failure of the lymphatic system may be congenital (meaning you are born with it), or may come about from as a result of surgery, lymph node removal, radiation treatment for cancer, or even trauma, like burns.
Lymphoedema therapy is a specialised field of physiotherapy, which is aimed at the prevention and management of this condition. Complex lymphoedema therapy uses the principles of massage, skin care, exercise and compression to aim to reduce or control the swelling, improve the range of movement and prevent infection.
There is also a large focus on education and self massage and treatment.
Our visiting physiotherapist is a qualified lymphoedema practitioner, who is specifically trained in identifying and treating lymphoedema.
We are also able to measure and fit for compression garments if necessary.
For more information on Lymphoedema please see – http://www.lymphoedema.org.au/