What is lymphoedema?
Lymphoedema is a chronic condition which causes swelling in your arms, legs or both. It arises when your lymphatic system is unable to function to its full capacity. Playing a crucial role in your immune system, your lymphatic system is a drainage network that flushes out excess fluids, bacteria and waste, while producing immune cells.
When your lymphatic system becomes blocked and the excess fluid is unable to drain, this leads to the swelling of limbs, also referred to as lymphoedema.
What causes lymphoedema?
There are two types of lymphoedema:
1. Primary lymphoedema – is a result of a poorly functioning lymphatic system from birth.
2. Secondary lymphoedema – most commonly results from cancer treatments, such as radiotherapy or surgery, where lymph nodes have been damaged or removed. The onset of secondary lymphoedema can occur at any time after the initial damage; it could be within months or it may not appear for years.
While lymphoedema cannot be cured, it can be treated and improved. The aim of lymphoedema management is to prevent its progression and maintain improvement.
Helping to alleviate symptoms, prevent infection and enhance function, our Accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner focuses on reducing this condition through Complex Lymphoedema Therapy (CLT).
Complex Lymphoedema Treatment (CLT)
CLT is a non-invasive treatment which aims to reduce and control the swelling of the affected limb and restore function. It involves the following five steps:
We provide you with advice on how to keep your skin in the best condition, to avoid infection.
2. Manual lymphatic drainage
A massage performed by a trained lymphoedema physiotherapist, we apply mild pressure to the skin around the affected area. This directs the fluid to lymph vessels that are draining properly, helping to reduce the build-up of fluid.
3. Compression therapy
This involves applying pressure to the affected area, using compression bandages or garments. Compression bandages are usually applied when there is severe swelling and are used to reduce your swelling over a series of two to three appointments. We then measure and order appropriate and individualised garments on your behalf.
Many cases of lymphoedema can be adequately managed by the correct prescription and application of compression garments. It’s important to know, however, that not everyone is qualified to prescribe them. Lymphoedema physiotherapists are trusted and qualified by Medicare, and if specific criteria are met we may be able to access funding through Medicare, NDIS or Aged Care packages.
We teach you how to perform a range of specific exercises that help to activate lymphatic drainage, maintain your mobility and feel better.
We share our knowledge and provide you with a range of helpful tips, empowering you to manage your lymphoedema practically and sustainably over the long-term.
What to expect at your first lymphoedema management session
Your initial consultation will take approximately one hour. We ask that you bring any documents outlining your GP or specialist’s diagnosis, if you have one.
During your consultation, we’ll obtain your full medical history and take measurements. Then, depending on the complexity of your condition, we may do manual drainage or it might be appropriate to order your custom garments. Every case is different and we tailor each session to suit you.
Our lymphoedema therapists may also be able to help with lipedema or other swelling, dependent on the cause. Please speak with our receptionist to find out more.
How to access our services
For detailed information on how to best access our services, click HERE
Are you searching for a caring, attentive and accredited lymphoedema practitioner to help you manage your condition, so you can feel better?
Meet our team
Michael’s experience includes musculoskeletal, cardiac, orthopedic and respiratory physiotherapy. He has extensive experience in treating hands and upper limbs, post-surgical rehab of shoulders, as well as post-hip and knee surgery treatment. … Read More