Posts Tagged ‘compression’

Weight Lifting and Lymphedema

Photo credit: Candace di Carlo (Penn Current)

. . . . . . Kathryn H. Schmitz, Ph.D., MPH . . . . . . Photo credit: Candace di Carlo (Penn Current)

This is an extremely important topic, especially in light of some recent news coverage.  I (Amber) was going to do a little write-up on the matter, but just can’t put it better than Joe Zuther.  Here are his words as published in Lymphedema Today:

As some of you may know, an article published August 13, 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine addressed the topic of weight lifting in women with breast cancer-related lymphedema. The article summarized an 18-month study performed by Dr. Kathryn Schmitz and colleagues in a controlled trial of twice weekly progressive weight lifting involving 141 breast cancer survivors with stable upper extremity lymphedema.

Shortly after this article was published, we received a large number of phone calls and email messages from patients and graduates of our lymphedema management certification courses asking us for clarification on some misleading and inaccurate statements that were made on the results of this study.

One of the more prominent questions we received from patients was: “If it is okay and safe for me to lift weights as this study suggests, is it okay then to lift heavy items at home or at work as well?”

The obvious answer to this question is “NO!”

This is not what this study suggested either, it is clearly a misunderstanding. As a result of these misconceptions, the National Lymphedema Network’s Medical Advisory Board asked Dr. Schmitz to address the many misleading statements that were made in the media about the results of her study. I am very glad to report that Dr. Schmitz answered the NLN’s call and her response was published in the April/June 2010 issue of the LymphLink. This response was necessary to clarify the results of this important study, and what they mean to patients living with lymphedema, or those individuals at risk of developing this condition. Read the rest of this entry »


Arm Exercises May Cut Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors

An article published by Reuters verifies what we lymph drainage specialists have suspected all along, stating:

After a year, women who did a twice weekly workout while wearing a compression garment had less arm pain and swelling, a condition known as lymphedema.

“Weight lifting reduced the number and severity of arm and hand symptoms, increased muscular strength and reduced the incidence of lymphedema,” a team at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.



Massage, compression, exercise to ease lymphedema symptoms

By Linda S. Mah | Kalamazoo Gazette

November 12, 2009, 10:19AM


Fern Taylor, of Delton, wears a compression sleeve and glove on her right arm to help prevent buildup of lymph fluid after having lymph nodes removed from her breast.

Fern Taylor never knows when her lymphedema is going to flare up. She’ll notice a rash, then there’s a burning sensation and soon her arm swells up to three times its normal size.’

The first time it happened in 2003 “I had no idea what was going on,” said Taylor, who lives in Delton.

Since then, Taylor has learned that the swelling in her right arm is the result of a buildup of lymphatic fluid, which occurs because the lymph nodes in that arm were removed as part of her treatment for breast cancer.

“Basically, the fluids in my body went where they were supposed to go, but the lymph nodes were not there anymore to carry it through the body,” Taylor said. “So it got stuck.”

The lymphatic system drains fluid from bodily tissue and allows immune cells to travel throughout the body. Lymphedema occurs when the lymph nodes are unable to drain that fluid. The fluid pools in an area, causing the body part to swell and sometimes leading to discomfort from the pressure of the fluid buildup, a sense of heaviness, a decreased range of motion, chronic wounds and ulcers and skin breakdown.

Read the rest of this entry »


Ankle Sprains – Successful Treatment Tips

By Barton Anderson

Ankle sprains can easily become chronic in nature if not treated correctly. Proper initial care can mean the difference between a single sprain, or a lifetime of ankle problems. Read the rest of this entry »


The Benefits of Sports Massage

By Brandon J. Thomas

It is well known that massage therapy can reduce anxiety, pain and tension and generally feels good. However massage can be more than just relaxing. For athletes massage therapy can be a key contributor to their training regime and considerably enhance their performance. More commonly known as “Sports Massage” massage for athletes utilizes deep muscle working techniques that eliminate toxins in muscle fiber as well as remove adhesions. Read the rest of this entry »