Lymphedema

Lymphedema lower extermity self drainage exercises
Lymphedema lower extermity self drainage  exercises

Exercises

 For lower extremity lymphedema patients


Principle of exercise:


It is important to exercise to enhance drainage and keep your range of motion functionally.

·        Exercises should be pleasant & should not reach the level of fatigue.

·        It should be done while wearing compression garments or bandages.

·        If you have a limb at risk, wear your garment during exercise.

·        Too much exercises or wrong kind of exercises can harm you, ask your therapist about the dose and time.

·        Exercise ideally should be done twice per day.


Exercises should be done in 2  groups:


A: Self drainage exercises

Aim: this group of exercises helps you to drain the remaining fluid from your affected limb


1.     Deep breathing exercise


Aim: it improves both lympthatic and blood circulations

Procedure:Do for one minute
-Lie down and relax with your arm elevated.
-Take deep diaphragm breath.
-As you breathe in, your stomach should rise.
-As you breathe out, your stomach should sink.

Caution: it should be done only 5-7 times

 

 



 

2.     Clears supraclavicular lymph nodes


Aim: stimulate and activate the working lymph nodes (both sides)

Procedure:Do 15 times, slowly.
-Place your fingers in the hollows of your neck, just above the collar bone on both sides of your neck.
-Very gently stretch the skin down towards the centre of your body, keeping your hands above the collar bone.

Caution: do it gently, do not press to hard

 

 




 

 

3.     Clears axillary lymph nodes


Aim: stimulate and activate the working axillary lymph nodes (same side of your affected leg)

Procedure: do 15 times on same leg side, 5 times on other side.
-Stretch the skin over the lymph nodes in your armpit on the same side as affected leg. Do on bare skin.
-Stretch should be gentle half circle.
-Direction should be up and towards your neck but hand stay in the armpit.
-Then do the same thing on the other side.

 

 




4.     Clears inguinal lymph nodes


Aim: stimulate and activate the working lymph nodes (other side)

Procedure: do 15 times.
-Place one or both hands in the fold at the top of your other leg.
-Gently and slowly scoop up towards your belly button.
-Your hands should remain in the fold at the top of your leg and not move over your stomach.

Caution: do it gently, do not press too hard

 

 


 

 

5.     Proximal self drainage


Aim: clears and stimulate the lymph vessels connects between your affected leg and the sound axillary and inguinal lymph nodes

 

 

 

 

Create a pathway 1:


Aim: moves lymph fluid from your affected leg to your healthy lymphatic circulation

Procedure: -Starting in the midline of your lower abdomen, stroke slowly and gently towards the inguinal nodes (top of your other leg) on your unaffected side.

-Gradually extend the strokes until you are stroking from the hip on your affected side all the way over the inguinal nodes in the top of your unaffected side.
-Make your strokes short, soft, and slow. Do on bare skin.

Caution:if your other leg is already swollen or at risk, do not drain to its lymph nodes

 

Create a pathway 2:


Aim: moves lymph fluid from your affected leg to your healthy lymphatic circulation

Procedure:-Starting below your waist, gently and slowly stroke up to the bend at the top of your armpit.
-Gradually go higher until you are stroking your armpit on your affected side all the way up to the axillary nodes at the armpit.
-Make your strokes short, soft, and slow. Do on bare skin.

 

 

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