Introduction to lymphedema:
Lymphedema is a chronic condition that occurs due to the impairment or dysfunction of the lymphatic system, resulting in the retention and accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial spaces and other tissues of the body. The disease affects the upper and/or lower limbs of the body and the characteristic symptoms of the disease include edema, swelling, loss of function and movement, and also deformation of the limbs in case of late diagnosis or lack of treatment.
Though lymphedema falls in the category of incurable diseases, there are various methods and techniques that have proved quite effective in the significant reduction of swelling, pain and loss of movement associated to lymphedema. One of the most effective methods of reducing or completely eliminating some of the symptoms of the disease is lymphedema drainage therapy, or LDT.
About lymphedema drainage therapy (LDT):
Lymphedema drainage therapy is a specialized massage that aims to regulate the flow of lymph by draining it from the site of retention or accumulation back to the lymphatic system. This causes a significant decrease in the edema, also eliminating the swelling and it even restores the normal dimension and shape of the limb and the skin, which might have undergone deformity due to the swelling. The therapy also boosts optimum functionality of the lymphocytes and the overall immune system regulation of the affected area or limb. Because this therapy tends to imitate the act of the body normal function of lymph drainage and regulation, therefore it is also known as the manual lymph drainage, because the massage techniques are practiced manually. This therapy also aims to detoxify the body of all possible toxins and harmful substances by boosting the immune system.
The lymphedema drainage therapy also relieves the patient of any pain associated to the disease. The best results from the therapy can be obtained if the practitioner follows certain rules, such as being gentle at all times, yet applying the necessary firm pressure required to initiate the drainage. Lymphedema drainage therapy is usually contraindicated in patients having heart problems because of the risk of developing blood clots which might hinder the cardiovascular system of the body.
Importance of lymphedema drainage therapy:
Lymphedema drainage therapy is one of the most effective methods of reducing swelling, edema and pain associated to the disease. The therapy is an integral part of the complex or complete decongestive therapy (CDT) which is the ideal management plan for all patients of lymphedema worldwide. When practiced regularly and with the basic guidelines, the drainage therapy can work wonders and produce astounding results in patients suffering from lymphedema.