The Use of Lymphedema Products
The use of lymphedema products is often recommended for those who suffer from arm and leg swelling as a result of blockage in the lymphatic system. Women who undergo breast cancer surgery involving removal of the lymph nodes are often the ones affected by this condition.
There are several ways to address the swelling in lymphedema. The goal of every lymphedema therapy is to improve the lymph flow as it’s only through it that the discomfort, swelling, and physical limitations can be reduced.
Different Types of Lymphedema Products
In compression therapy, the use of certain lymphedema products is advised. These include the following products:
1. Kinesio Tape
The use of Kinesio tape is based on the technique developed by a Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase. This elastic tape is made with woven cotton fibers. It is placed on the skin using hypoallergenic and latex-free adhesive. This adhesive is waterproof, making it possible for a person with kinesio tapes to go swimming or to take a shower.
The Kinesio tape applies a gentle lift on the skin, redirecting the flow of the lymph from a congested area to an area with good lymphatic flow. When the tape is positioned correctly, it can channel the lymphatic fluid into the desired direction.
2. Compression Bandages
Compression bandages are typically used in the complete decongestive therapy. Pieces of these short-stretch bandages are applied in layers on the affected site. These must be worn until the next session.
The use of compression bandages works in promoting lymphatic flow as they boost the pumping action of the lymphatic vessels through increasing the resistance to push against with. Compression bandages don’t just improve lymphatic flow; they also soften the swollen areas.
3. Lymphedema Pump
Like other lymphedema products, the aim of lymphedema pump is to move the excess fluid from the affected limb and return it to the cardiovascular system. Some facilities for lymphedema treatment make use of these plumps. Individuals with lymphedema can also this at home, only if they have been trained on how to use the pump properly.
There are two types of lymphedema pump: sequential gradient pump and flexi touch pump. The sequential gradient pump is an automatic lymphedema pump that pushes air into the garment worn by the patient. When the garment is inflated, it triggers movements that imitate the natural flow of the lymphatic fluid.
Unlike the sequential gradient pump where preparatory phase of the treatment is done manually either by the patient or a specialist, the flexi touch pump does both phases - preparatory and treatment on its own. In using this pump, the patient has to wear the garment properly before the pump is turn on. Once the preparatory phase is done, the pump does the treatment phase immediately.
4. Lymphedema Socks & Compression Stockings
For lymphedema of the legs, the use of lymphedema products like thigh-high compression stockings help in pushing the lymph flow above the knee.
It’s important to note that when choosing compression socks & lymphedema compression stockings, you should opt for those that provide a compression gradient along the leg to encourage circulation. Constriction below the knee would only impede lymph drainage and cause further swelling.
5. Compression Garments
There are different types of compression garments that can be used by lymphedema patients. These include the following:
The lymphedema arm sleeves provide comfort for those suffering from lymphedema. They address the swelling by activating the microcirculation to improve lymphatic drainage. Ideal to use after mastectomy, these arm sleeves can also provide arm support for lipedema and cellulite.
Lymphedema can affect different areas including the chest and upper body. The use of lymphedema compression vest is ideal for use by those who suffer from lymphedema of the lower breast area. This improves lymph flow and is a great help in managing the swelling, bloating, and discomfort.
Lymphedema compression shorts provide support and mild compression for those with truncal and abdominal lymphedema.
It’s the truncal and abdominal lymphedema that often goes undiagnosed because the discomfort and fullness are similar to what patients manifest after surgery.
The use of compression shorts also provide pain relief for those suffering from arthritis.
These compression leggings are not your typical pair of leggings. They are made with different compression gradients to encourage lymph flow. Some compression garments are made with far infrared emitting fabric and special micromassaging knitting.
Bioflect Therapy Garments has a wide range of lymphedema products. Utilizing the FIR technology, every compression garment is created with a special type of fabric that reflects the body’s own energy back to itself, promoting healing and improving circulation.