Lymphoedema Mythbuster

Myth: Lymphoedema is rare.
Reality: Far from it! There are an estimated 450,000 people in the UK receiving treatment for lymphoedema, and we know there are many more people who have yet to be diagnosed.

You can reach Touching Well by mobile: 0794 227 6538, or via our landline 0115 648 9636, or the contact form.

Opening times: Monday to Thursday daytime

 I hope to see you soon. With warm regards, Regina

Myth: Breast cancer and its treatment is the main cause of lymphoedema.
Reality: The main causes of lymphoedema are actually obesity and immobility. Cancer treatment can also cause lymphoedema. Lymphoedema can be anywhere on the body, but it is most common in the arms and legs. Some people are born with the condition.

Myth: People with lymphoedema shouldn’t go swimming.
Reality: Swimming is a great activity if you have lymphoedema – the water provides natural compression. Make sure your skin is intact and you clean and moisturise your skin afterwards as the chlorine can be drying. Aqua-aerobics is even better if you have lymphoedema or lipoedema of the leg.

Myth: People with lymphoedema need to be careful about exercise.
Reality: Any movement is a fantastic way of boosting lymphatic flow and should be a key part of your self-care routine. Build up gradually and keep an eye on your swelling.

Myth: People with lymphoedema in their arms shouldn’t use weights.
Reality: It used to be thought that weight lifting increased swelling, but research now shows that it is a fantastic way of boosting lymphatic flow. When you first start lifting weights, use low weights and few repetitions and gradually build up your strength.

Myth: My ankles are swollen but it’s not lymphoedema.
Reality: Swelling can happen for a number of reasons and should never be ignored. Whatever the reason, the lymphatic drainage system is not working properly. One of the best ways to help it work better is to be more active. If the swelling lasts for more than three months, it becomes a chronic oedema, which is lymphoedema.

Myth: If I have swollen ankles I need diuretic treatment.
Reality: Diuretics should only be prescribed to treat the underlying cause, such as heart failure. They are ineffective in the management of lymphatic failure. Therefore other strategies, such as adequate compression therapy, skin care and regular movement, should always be part of the treatment plan for chronic (more than three months) swollen legs or ankles. (Chronic Oedema Suppl. 2022 Apr.;55)

Myth: Whether or not you get lymphoedema is the luck of the draw – it doesn’t matter what you do.
Reality: Some people are more prone to lymphoedema, but there is a lot you can do to make it much less likely – and to control the degree to which it does develop. Good skincare, regular movement to increase lymph drainage and maintaining a healthy weight are all important. If you’re concerned that you may have developed lymphoedema, ask your GP to refer you to a lymphoedema clinic – the earlier treatment starts the better.

Myth: You can’t exercise when wearing compression.
Reality: You should keep your compression garment on while you are being active – this helps the muscle pump and boosts lymphatic drainage.

Myth: Lymphoedema means I can’t carry shopping or lift up my (grand)children.
Reality: If you’ve not been carrying heavy weights for some time, then suddenly increasing the amount you carry can overload the lymphatics and increase swelling. Gradually build up the amount you lift. Ask for help carrying heavy shopping or pack more bags with less items. When it comes to (grand)children, sit down and let them climb onto your knee for a hug instead. (BLS Lymphoedema mythbuster leaflet 2022 Mar 7th).

List of treatments
Myofascial Release (MFR) - Saving Hands massage -
Therapeutic massage -
Maya Abdominal Therapy -
- Seated Acupressure - Indian Head Massage - Pulsing - Reiki -
- Reflexology - Tsuboki Foot Massage - Hopi Ear Candles -
Hot and Cold Stone Massage - Myofascial dry cupping -
Aromatherapy Massage - Aromatherapy Lymphatic Massage (ALM) -
- Fertility Massage - Pregnancy Massage - Post-natal Massage -
- Dorn Method - Breuss Massage -
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) - Deep Oscillation -
 - Treatment for lymphoedema - Treatment after cosmetic surgery -
Holistic Facial - Face Vitality - Total Detox -
 - Virtual sessions - Supervision

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