Lymphedema is a chronic condition and often begins with a mild swelling in the hands or feet. Early diagnosis and treatment improve the condition and its prognosis. If lymphedema is untreated, the limbs become more edematous and the skin loses its elasticity (fibrosis). Moreover, untreated lymphedema leads to infection and sometimes irreversible complications.
The cornerstone of lymphedema treatment is compression. Compression must be applied to the limb to reduce the swelling. Surgical compression stockings or sleeves can apply the firm but gentle pressures that encourages the lymph fluid to move back into the bloodstream. Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is performed by specially trained therapists, utilizing a gentle massaging technique in conjunction with a pumping motion. Some treatment centers use a special bandaging technique
Once the standard for lymphatic treatment, the benefits of compression pumps are becoming largely questioned within the lymphedema community. Why is that? And what, exactly, do pumps do?
Let’s start with the basics: A compression pump is an inflatable garment for the arm or leg. An electrical pneumatic pump fills the garment with compressed air, inflating and deflating at different intervals and providing cycles of compression on the limb. They are not meant to open up lymphatic passages, but rather offer an alternative to bandaging.
It’s true that pumps can cause complications and further damage to the lymphatic system, although there have been improvements made upon the old models. For example, there are newer devices referred to as intermittent pneumatic compression devices that are designed for the leg or plantar region of the foo
So let hit the issue from the source which is inflammation.
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