Can exercise improve my lymphedema?
Exercise is beneficial to you. It can not only improve flow of lymph fluids, which can alleviate the swelling, but also increase strength in your affected limb.
If you find swelling in your neck and face, you can move your neck up, looking towards the ceiling, and down, putting your chin against your chest. Then rotate the neck from left to right. In terms of facial muscles, opening your mouth with smile and closing your mouth with frown can help fluid drainage.
If the swelling is in your arms, lift the arm up and down.
To improve your legs, you can try moving your ankles up and down. Pointing your toes towards and away from you may also help.
Remember to exercise gently. You don’t have to get yourself tired.
Before you start any exercise, remember to consult your doctor first. Your doctor will give you professional advice based on your condition.
Can massage help improve lymphedema? Can I do it myself?
A special massage technique named lymphatic drainage massage can encourage lymph fluid drainage, reducing the swelling.
During the course of massage, if the symptoms do not get worse, the massage can be effective to you.
Although you can find many introductions of various massage techniques, it is recommended to have someone specially trained to help you. Because massage is not for everyone. For example, those with a skin infection, blood clots or active disease should not have massage.
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