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Lymphatic Obstruction - Lymphedema
- Lymphatic obstruction is a blockage of the lymph vessels that drain fluid from tissues and allow immune cells to travel where they are needed. This may cause lymphedema which means swelling due to a blockage of the lymph passages. The most common cause for lymphtic obstruction is the removal or enlargement of the lymph nodes due to: Infections with parasites such as filariasis, injury, radiation, surgery, or tumors. The main symptom is persistent or chronic swelling of arm or leg.
- Lymphedema is a chronic disease that usually requires lifelong management. In some cases, lymphedema improves with time, however some swelling is usually permanent.
Very effective treatment that involves a gentle massage, compression wrap, remedial exercise and meticulous skin and nail care. It is a light massage therapy technique in which the skin is moved in certain directions based on the structure of the lymphatic system. This helps the lymph fluid drain through proper channels.
- Increase the lymph vessel contractillity, it empties and decompresses the lymph and interstitial fluid.
- Improves lymph circulation, it increases the volume of lymph fluid transported by abnormal and normal lymph vessels.
- Breaks down fibrotic areas (proliferated connective tissue and scar tissue)
Purpose of Compression Bandaging:
- Reduces the ultra filtration rate.
- Improves the efficiency of the muscles and joint pumps
- prevents reaccumulation of evacuated lymph
- Help to break up deposits of accumulated scare and connective tissue
Phase 2 - Maintenance and optimization phase. Patient is independent with self wrap, has been fitted with compression garment, continues meticulous skin care and begins remedial exercises. This phase continues for the rest of the patient's life.