Day to day size variation

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Day to day size variation

Postby runnermom » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:14 am

Hi there,

I'm just wondering what "normal" or "well-managed" size-variation is for leg lymphedema. Also, how much of the variation is seasonal? I've only known about my lymph for a year now, and I've worked tirelessly to manage it (daily compression socks, nightly wrapping, sld exercises). Problem is, I currently cannot wear the custom garment I had made (for the abdominal/genital problems I have) because my thighs have increased in size. I'm doing everything I know how to try to manage (including taking 2weeks off of running), but I feel like I just don't have control over how swollen my legs are . . .

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Re: Day to day size variation

Postby patoco » Mon Aug 15, 2011 9:58 am

Hey Runnermom

The daily variation really does depend on the extent of the lymphedema (how the entire lymph system is).
It can vary greatly from patient to patient.

It also seems to change with age. My legs had a really good variation until I hit middle age. Now at 58, there is almost no variation.

The exception for me is when I am in the hospital and on bed rest. Then the legs gone down dramatically.

I wish so bad you could get to a lymphedema therapist. You really need their help on in getting the legs down. It also sounds like you are already doing so much. Frankly, I really commend you for being so active in trying to manage your LE. I wish everyone was that committed.

Since you are not able to wear the custom made garment, can you still wrap with bandages during the day?

Also, have you tried any self massage on the legs or ab?

Look forward to hearing back from you.

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Re: Day to day size variation

Postby erivertown » Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:18 am

Hi Runnermom,

I'm not sure what you mean by "normal" or "variations". Normal is what your legs looked like before you developed edema. The goal of any lymphedema therapist is to get you back to that state of normalcy then help you develop the tools you need to keep them that way.

Pat is right in that you really need the services of a good therapist to help you reduce the swelling. The standard treatment is compression wrapping to reduce the legs, including thighs, as far as they will go then put you in a compression garment of some type, usually stockings. While you may already be doing these things, the question is whether you are doing them correctly and your post gives little clue to that.

I, too, commend you for all you're doing to maintain your lymphedema. However, I'm not so sure that running a lot is a good idea at this point. Care has to be taken not to stress the legs to the point that they begin to ache or hurt as this will cause an inflammatory response that could exacerbate the lymphedema. You might try reducing the amount of running you do or perahps do a fast walk versus actual running or jogging. Overexercising is not good for lymphedema limbs.

Please feel free to respond back with more questions or with additional information and perhaps we can provide better answers for you.

Tom Kincheloe, OTR/L, CLT
Norton-Certified Lymphedema Therapist
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