You may seek the right treatment options if you are suffering from lymphedema. You can use a variety of methods to help treat this condition. These methods include exercises that can reduce swelling and pain. These exercises involve moving your foot up and down 10 times while curling your toes under and spreading them apart.
There are various treatment options for people suffering from lymphedema in their legs. These procedures may include using non-elastic bandages or compression garments to put gentle pressure on the affected area. This helps prevent the fluid from refilling and causing swelling. Patients may also benefit from individual counseling or a support group. Regardless of your condition, educating yourself on the causes and symptoms of lymphedema is important so you can choose the most effective treatment for you.
Medical tests can determine the extent of the problem and identify the source of the problem. Imaging tests may include a computed tomography (CT) scan or MRI. These can be used to diagnose lymphedema and rule out other conditions. Other tests may include spirometry, which uses infrared light beams to measure electrical currents in the tissues.
Lymphedema causes several causes, including infections, chronic illnesses, and genetics. Infections can lead to permanent damage to the lymphatic system and lymph nodes. Some people also develop lymphedema after surgery or radiation treatment. Inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis and eczema, can permanently damage the lymphatic system and lead to lymphedema. In addition, cardiovascular diseases and severe skin burns can increase the risk of lymphedema.
The lymphatic system comprises a network of vessels transporting lymph (a liquid made up of white blood cells, triglycerides, bacteria, and cell debris). The complex lymphatic drainage system includes pre-collectors, collectors, and lymph nodes. The superficial lymphatic system drains the skin, while the deep lymphatic system drains the muscles, tendon sheaths, nerves, and subcutaneous tissue.
Several treatment options are available for the leg's lymphedema or poor lymphatic drainage. This condition can result when the lymph nodes in the leg are removed or damaged. These nodes are bean-shaped structures that help move fluid out of the body. When the nodes are damaged or removed, fluid cannot be removed and causes the tissues to swell.
Treatment options for lymphedema are generally based on reducing swelling and preventing complications. Because the condition increases the risk of infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent skin infections. Other treatment options include gentle muscle contractions and manual lymph drainage therapy. However, these treatments should not be used by people with active cancer or skin infections.
Lymphatic drainage of the leg is beneficial for people with various medical conditions. It can help people with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic venous insufficiency, and fibromyalgia. Lymphatic massage improves circulation and decreases swelling.
Lymphatic drainage massage improves lymphedema following a mastectomy (surgical removal of a breast to prevent cancer). It is also beneficial for patients who have chronic venous insufficiency, a condition that causes blood to pool in the legs.