Naena Chhima, Cancer Information Nurse and Lymphoedema Therapist.
Managing lymphoedema in lockdown can be difficult, especially if you are used to going to a lymphoedema therapist regularly to help manage the swelling.
Self-massage and exercise at home
Follow this link to You Tube videos from the Australasian Lymphology Association to help you do a self-massage routine at home, or you may have a family member who is able to do this for you.
Arm lymphoedema – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB79z1rQKA4&t=12s
Leg lymphoedema – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKIkImKbOmU
These links to guides on self-massage and exercises to reduce lymphoedema from the University Health Network (UHN) in Canada and Cancer Research UK may also be helpful:
How to do Self-Massage – Upper Body https://www.uhn.ca/PatientsFamilies/Health_Information/Health_Topics/Documents/How_to_Do_Self_Lymphatic_Massage_Upper_Body_One_Side.pdf
How to do Self-Massage – Lower Body https://www.uhn.ca/PatientsFamilies/Health_Information/Health_Topics/Documents/How_to_Do_Self_Lymphatic_Massage_Lower_Body.pdf
Arm exercises – Cancer Research UK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcQB6pZmdN0
Leg exercises – (Cancer Research UK): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PKkdyBRu1k
See also our earlier nurses’ blog on lymphoedema for more information – https://www.cancerchatnz.org.nz/self-management-lymphoedema/
and the Cancer Society’s information sheets:
- Understanding lymphoedema https://wellington.cancernz.org.nz/cancer-information/treatment/understanding-lymphoedema/
- Living with lymphoedema https://wellington.cancernz.org.nz/cancer-information/treatment/living-with-lymphoedema/
In summary, lymphoedema is best managed with:
- Lymphoedema massage techniques
- Daily skin care to avoid dry skin
- Compression garments.
Please contact us on 0800 226 237 for further information and support.