Anybody who has lymphedema knows that the swelling can be too much sometimes. It undoubtedly affects your quality of life to deal with chronic swelling. However, there are ways that people who have lymphedema can manage the swelling. Here are a few tips to help you manage your chronic swelling:
Learn how to treat the specific area
When you first get your diagnosis, you’ll want to learn all you can about managing the swelling, as well as how to treat the pain accompanying it. It’s important to understand that different types of lymphedemas may call for distinct types of treatment. If you have head and neck lymphedema, the treatment may look very different than how you’d treat it in your legs, for example.
Get regular massages
A massage feels good for us no matter what, but for those with lymphedema, a focused massage can be more than a relaxing experience. Typically called a manual lymphatic drainage, this kind of specific massage encourages lymphatic flow, which significantly helps to reduce swelling.
Along with massages, it’s good to wear compression garments which will help to keep fluids from collecting. Don’t fret—there are some great styles available out there. Working with a physical therapist frequently could also benefit you.
Do focused exercises
You’ll want to do specific exercises for your affected areas so you can strengthen your muscles there, as well as keep the blood flow moving and range of motion in that particular limb. Exercises can help prevent excess fluid buildup, which can decrease swelling.
Daily exercise can also be helpful since managing your weight is essential for people with lymphedema. Obesity can lead to more swelling, so whether it’s walking, biking, or swimming, always try to get some movement daily. Exercise is always good for us, especially when dealing with chronic swelling.
Practice good skin care and hygiene
Those with lymphedema are more prone to dry skin and other injuries to their limbs. It’s highly important to practice good hygiene and skin care when dealing with lymphedema. This may look like a nightly routine of a bath with bath oils and post-bath moisturizing.
Protecting your skin from getting dry is vital since cuts and chapped skin can result in infection. Infection is never good with lymphedema, so consider setting up an arsenal of products designed to keep your skin as moisturized as possible.
Your food is also very important, as eating anti-inflammatory foods can greatly benefit your chronic swelling management. From antioxidants to foods like salmon and greens, watching what you eat is important for decreasing swelling and weight management, as obesity is essential to avoid when you struggle with lymphedema swelling.
It can be hard to keep up with daily meals designed for your health, so consider ordering from a health food subscription where you can set up the type of preferences you have, making sure to create a meal plan that is good for your condition. Then, you just let it be, and the food comes to you. It may be an investment, but it’s more than worth it if it helps you manage your swelling.
Nobody wants to deal with lymphedema, and it can be a challenge to live with when you don’t know how to manage your symptoms. It can also be difficult to get the proper medical help you need if you don’t have the right financial setup for healthcare or insurance. However, there are ways to manage the pain and swelling, so even though it may be a chronic condition, you can be sure to live your best life possible.
Amber is the proud mother to four beautiful children, Damian (27), Rosaleigh (13), Carlyn (10), Naomi (7), and a wife to her loving husband, Chancellor. Her family also includes four cats.
She loves being a stay-at-home mom and feels blessed to be able to care for her children full-time and provide them with so many opportunities through Metro Detroit Mommy. In addition to Metro Detroit Mommy, Amber has a passion for hosting karaoke and trivia with L Sharp Productions. She enjoys the Metro Detroit nightlife especially, singing, dancing and meeting new people.