This most gentle massage is essential for primary and secondary lymphedema.
Primary lymphoedema is genetic and usually seen after puberty, or after an accident such as a strained ankle, causing swelling which does not reduce with normal physiotherapy. Very often a lymphoscintigraphy shows compromised lymph vessels.
Secondary lymphoedema is usually as a result of a cancer operation, where the lymph nodes are partially or wholly removed, causing a swelling in a limb or trunk.
Lipoedema is a familial hormonal condition, usually found in women. It is recognised with soft swollen legs, enlarged thighs and unaﬀected feet. It can be linked with lymphoedema in later stages and is known as lipo-lymphoedema.
All 3 conditions beneﬁt from MLD, exercise and wearing compression garments. Bandaging is used in more heavily swollen limbs.