Women who have toned arms to flaunt are the luckiest! They can wear anything and everything and carry themselves with élan. But does it mean that Lymphedema should stop women from working on a healthy and toned arm? Definitely not. Read along to know about the best Lymphedema arm exercises.
By now, you might be familiar with Lymphedema from our lymphedema leg exercises post, as abnormal swelling in arms and legs due to the impairment in the proper circulation of lymphatic fluids.
Any damage to the lymph nodes and nodules because of mastectomy, lumpectomy, chemotherapy, bone fracture or acute infections can cause severe inflammation in your arm.
Symptoms of Lymphedema in the affected arm include swelling in fingers and/or arm which make rings, watched bracelets and clothes feel constricting or tighter. You might also observe some redness or hardness in surface of the skin.
Unfortunately, no cure for Lymphedema has been found so far. However, it can easily be brought under control by following an optimal exercise routine that takes care of your affected arm without draining you out completely.
Always remember that the best Lymphedema arm exercises program should be customized according to your personal needs and comfort. It is highly probable that some routines might cause pain and put additional stress on your arms. Avoid them.
Prior consultation with a Lymphedema specialist doctor, physiotherapist or trainer is therefore highly recommended before starting on lymphedema arm exercises on your own.
Another essential thing to invariably keep in mind is that a proper fitting lymphedema compression arm sleeves should be worn over the affected arm to control the fluid build-up and swelling.
A typical lymphedema arm exercises regimen is comprised of three basic components: deep breathing, stretching and light weight training. Deep breathing is essential for clearing of the blocked pathway of the lymphatic fluid and aiding in its circulation.
All set? Let us now jump onto the exercise bit.
Lymphedema Arm Exercises Routine
Deep breathing- stand upright and gently raise your arms up while inhaling lungful of air, hold for a moment, then bring your arms down while exhaling through your mouth. Repeat 10 times. You can also try other deep breathing techniques as long as you are comfortable and feel energized to continue your entire Lymphedema arm exercises drill.
Stretching- stretching should be done gently and there are various ways of stretching but you should choose the one which you are most comfortable with. Here are a few suggestions for exercises which can be done while sitting on a chair or standing upright:
§ Put your arm forward with your palm facing the front in a blessing position, and gently pull your fingers backwards with your other hand. Feel the stretch in your arms. Relax and repeat alternately 5 times each.
§ Gently raise your arm and hold it above your head, bend your elbows and touch the shoulder blades with your hand, with other hand carefully pull your elbows backwards (as shown in the image). Feel the stretch in your upper arm. Relax and repeat alternately 5 times each.
§ Open your arms wide and keep it in 180 degree angle, flex your wrists, move it up and down. Feel the stretch in your entire arm. Relax and repeat 10 times.
Light weight training- to re-build the core strength of the affected arm, it is essential to do some light weight training under supervision. You can increase the intensity slowly over time but initially be extremely careful with the weights. You can also start by squeezing rubber balls. Alternately, swimming can be a good option as well.
Consult with your doctor for other alternatives and second opinion to embark on your Lymphedema arm exercises program. Also, don't forget to wear your lymphedema compression arm sleeves with their unique micromassage ripple knit property to get the maximum benefit of your exercise routine.
I have never let Lymphedema stop me from exercising, and I'm happy that I found this blog because reading up on some of these exercises has given me some new ones to add to my arsenal! I've never really considered how I breathe to be all that important when I'm exercising, but I can understand how deep and controlled breathing can bring about a feeling of energized calm. Can't wait to try these Lymphedema arm exercises.