Lymphoedema Treatment at Physio + Fitness Clinic
Lymphoedema Treatment at Physio + Fitness Clinic
Lymphoedema is when the lymphatic system becomes dysfunctional causing swelling or edema that won’t go away. Swelling can occur for lots of reasons, but Lymphoedema often occurs following Cancer treatment, tissue trauma, wounds, acute infections, cardiac failure, blood vessel issues, thyroid, kidney or liver dysfunction, obesity and can sometimes be linked to medications.
Lymphoedema therapy is a specialised field of physical therapy, which aims to prevent and manage this condition. Complex lymphoedema therapy can utilize specific massage techniques, skin care, exercise and compression to reduce and/ or control the swelling, improve range of movement and prevent infection.
There is a large focus on education and self massage for your home treatment.
Physio and Fitness Clinic has two trained Lymphoedema therapists – Morgan Deegan (Physio) and Temika Rae-Peters (Myotherapist).
We use the latest technology in fluid detection, allowing identification of sub-clinical lymphoedema – The SOZO machine. This aids in determining whether early intervention is warranted, with the aim of reducing the likelihood of developing lymphoedema.
Everyone is different. There is no “cookie cutter” treatment here. Every individual is unique, and this requires an accurate diagnosis. We use a number of proven techniques and equipment to help detect, and speed up the movement of your lymphatic system, and ensure your management is first rate.
Want to know more about Lipoedema? Check out our article.
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Compression garments can help reduce and stop lymphoedema from progressing. It is important that compression garments are replaced every six months in order to make sure the pressure being applied to your body remains consistent and graded. We measure and fit the compression garment to make sure it is appropriate and comfortable for you. We also demonstrate how best to apply and remove them.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a specialised massage technique completed by qualified lymphoedema practitioners. This utilises the functioning lymph vessels to shift the swelling from the affected area in a systematic and gentle manner. This treatment is part of a holistic approach to lymphoedema management.
We recommend gentle exercise for our patients to aid the lymphatic system. Lymph fluid circulates in a way similar to blood pulsing through your veins and arteries. The main difference is that lymphatic circulation occurs as a result of repeated muscle contractions that occur while you are, well moving the muscles. Lymph fluid will flow toward any area of your body where it’s needed most such as when you are exercising or if the tissue becomes injured in case of a cut or wound.
Even laying down with small movement or even deep breathing will be enough to encourage the fluid flow and we recommend getting plenty of rest time outside of your daily physical therapy routine because it’s equally important.
Bandaging is important in severe cases of lymphoedema. Once the swelling has reduced with bandaging a compression garment can be fitted for daily use. Bandaging can also be used while garments are being made to maintain limb size. Bandaging is done after treatment to apply graded pressure and help stop the return of lymph to the limb.
At Physio and Fitness Clinic we educate our clients on Lymphoedema as it is a lifelong condition. Learning how to manage your condition and avoiding triggers will help you gain a lot of independence. Our self-care techniques will teach you how to apply your compression garments correctly, massage your affected limbs to allow for effective lymph movement, and provide exercise programs which can be done at home.
Lymphoedema can cause red rash like patches on the skin. Keeping your skin healthy and protected is a must. Daily moisturizing and skin care can help you to avoid infections. Antibiotics may be necessary depending on how unwell you are, followed by swift action to keep the condition from worsening further so that antibiotics may become less necessary.
Lymphoedema Therapist Vs Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
It is important to understand that not every therapist that offers Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is equipped to help manage a lymphatic condition.
A lymphoedema therapist is trained to assess, manage and treat lymphatic conditions. These include both lymphoedema and Lipoedema. A lymphatic condition is when there is damage to the lymphatic system and the body struggles to perform as it should.
This can be because a person is born with a condition such as Lipoedema, they have undergone surgery damaging the system, or had treatment for cancer.
MLD is a technique used by many hands on therapists to help move lymphatic fluid. It consists of a specific, very gentle technique to physically push the fluid towards the lymph nodes. This is beneficial for people with and without lymphatic conditions.
If a person has either lymphoedema or Lipoedema the therapists may choose to involve MLD along with a compression garment prescription, compression pumping, laser, bandaging and exercise prescription. Some or all of these might be useful to manage the person’s condition.
A lymphoedema Therapist should be registered with the Australasian Lymphology Association which is a governing body to make sure all therapists have the correct qualifications, and insurances and they keep up to date with their mandatory training each year.
If the therapist is not a part of this Association then they are more likely to be a massage therapist who enjoys performing MLD for clients.
If a person thinks they have a lymphatic condition then they need to be seeing a qualified Lymphoedema therapist.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do I need a referral to see a Physiotherapist?
A. No. Physiotherapists are a first contact provider for injury management and rehabilitation. Many other health providers do refer to Physiotherapists.
Q. Does medicare provide cover for Physiotherapy?
A. No, however with an appropriate Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) referral from your GP, you may be eligible for five medicare funded visits per calendar year.
Q. Can I use my Private Health Insurance?
A. Yes. We have hicaps on site to cover your claim immediately. Please note these cannot be used for Pilates pack purchases, however they can be claimed with your private health insurer once your sessions have been redeemed.
Q. How do I know which Physiotherapist to see?
A. We pride ourselves on ensuring that each client receives a great service, and with that we each have different specialties. Please give the clinic a call to discuss which provider is the most appropriate for you.
call 9786 6642 or book online!
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