exercise and leg lymphedema

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exercise and leg lymphedema

Postby ksl4139 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:23 pm

I am new to this group. I have been reading different topics from people and I was told by my licensed lymph therapist that I HAVE to exercise everyday to keep the swelling down. I usually walk for 15 minutes around the block or get on my treadmill. I haven't been able to increase the time yet, I don't have the endurance.
No one in these topics have mentioned exercise. Were you all told about that? I just developed LD in Oct. 2006 after being treated for uterine cancer. They took out about 15-20 nodes from the abdomen area. I also have noticed that the genital/crotch area is a little swollen, not the labia area above it. I am so nervous about this whole LD stuff. They said I would be affected with it the rest of my life, I am 54yr. old. Can anyone help me with some info?
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Postby patoco » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:07 pm

Hey Kathy :)

Exercise is soooooo beneficial for lymphedema. Because the lymphatics have no "master" pump like the heart, one of the central ways lymph fluid is moved is through exercise.

Take a look through our Lymphedema Lifestyles forum and the Exercise, Diets, Nutrition, Vitamins section on the left.

The very best exercise too, is swimming. The gentle pressure of the water acts like decongestive therapy and is great for moving fluids.

Pat O
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I was told not to exercise

Postby erinfisher » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:53 pm

I am 26 and was diagnosed about 6 years ago. I as told to stay off my feet and if I did exercise to only swim for the pressure in the water. This scared me, I am not one to work out anyway but it made me feel disabled. I had two jobs that both required me to be on my feet all day. My stocking were so uncomfortable I never wear them. I take the dog on walks and when I get the itch I go to the gym, however if it is actually beneficial then maybe that is the motivation I need to get to the gym. I have gained about 60 pounds since my lymphedema began. Grr... i want to work out now! :)
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Postby suzeeq » Thu Jan 18, 2007 1:13 pm

Hi Erin, I am so amazed when people say that they can't wear their stockings because they are so uncomfortable. I am just the opposite. I can't wait to get my hose on! I can barely tolerate taking a shower. After drying off, I immediately put my hose on and they stay on all day. Then I bandage at night, which I absolutely love because of the compression. I was in Florida in Dec. and one day sat at the pool on a lounge chair so my legs were elevated, without my hose on, for about 6 hours. I never did it again. Too uncomfortable for me without any compression, even with just sitting. As for exercise, I just increased my treadmill distance to 3 miles instead of 2, every day. I can have swelling in my foot before the exercise and it will be gone when I am finished. It doesn't do much for the rest of the leg however. But I have never had cellulitis so maybe internally it is helping move the lymph fluid. Plus, just think of all the benefits to your cardiac health. I have been exercising for years, but for someone just starting, take it slow, even if it is just 5 minutes at first. Gradually increase as you can tolerate. Everybody is different. I don't like the water, even though I know it would be beneficial to me. Even when I was in Fla., I never got in. However, part of the problem is how I look and I am too self conscious to get in with other people around. Now, if I only had my own pool...! lol! Susan
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Postby allj » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:55 pm

Hi Kathy
I'm 60 and also newly dx with secondarey LE in my leg-3 months ago. I am going for my first treatment tomorrow but wear a stocking daily. I also am getting quite used to it although I don't know how I'll feel during the summer. I was told by the surgeon who is responsible for this that it's possible but not probable that this is transient and said that exercise may help regain stasis. So I have been working out 3 times a week. I do the cross trainer for 45 minutes - moderate to hard- ride a stationary bike for 1/2 hr and do weight exercises with my legs and the rest of my body. My leg used to be painful in the night while sleeping and during the day but after exercising for a week or so there is significantly less to no pain except a little the day I exercise. This has changed my whole outlook on LE. If all I have to do is wear a stocking and can exercise,dance, hike, etc no big deal. I suggest you start out slowly and increase your endurance- If you have a partner, friends, church or children be open to their support and love. If not find a support group. Alan
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