Living with Lymphedema in Legs

So what is Lymphedema? It can occur due to various things such as radiation treatment of breast cancer, obesity, surgery where a lymph node was damaged, cancer can cause damage to nodes, an infection within a node, individuals who suffer from rheumatoid disorders. However, it can also be caused by not getting the proper exercise or those who sit for long periods of time or trauma/injury.

Photo Credit CDC

Causes  & Symptoms

Lymphedema occurs when lymph fluid can not flow through the body properly. Our lymphatic system is designed to remove garbage from our bodies. Under healthy circumstances the fluid from the lymph nodes, which are located through out our body, would drain into our bloodstream. If it cannot flow properly it becomes like the drainage system in a sink clogged. This causes swelling within the the arms, hands, legs or feet. It can occur other places in the body, but these are the most common.

Outside of swelling here are some other symptoms individuals may encounter. 

  • Tighten or heaviness in the swollen area
  • Discomfort or aching
  • Lack of movement
  • Reoccurring infections within the swollen area
  • Hardening/thickening of the skin

My Personal Experience

I have experienced Lymphedema twice, both times in my feet. I’m currently dealing with it for the second time. The first time it was in my left foot, this time it is my right foot. 

The first time was when I came back from Tucson AZ. We visited the Old Tucson Movie Studio. As you can see in the image the road is gravel. Well I love my moccasins, which have no sole, and wore them not knowing I would be walking on gravel all day. The thing was I had not gotten a new pair and there were holes in the bottom, yeah not real good for the feet.  

This time we were in West Tennessee and we did a lot of walking, which I felt was a good thing. This time I made sure I wore good shoes for walking. I was fine until the last day., we were staying on the top floor of my step-son’s house. I was making sure we had everything together and brought down the bedding and towels we used. It was during this time I noticed my foot swelling and felt some discomfort.. 

How to Deal with Lymphedema Naturally

When I got back home I didn’t deal with it right away and it got to the point I could not get my shoe on my right foot. I thought back to what I did before and started doing it, rebounder for the duration of an upbeat song, wobbling for 8 minutes (I’ll address this in another post) and icing it for 20 minutes. I tried to do this 3 times a day, but sometimes it was only 1 or 2 times. The effected area also likes to be elevated, so do this as often as possible. I find just putting my foot up on the ottoman helps. For the arm and fingers elevate over the head. Also avoid wearing anything tight around the area of concern.

While it seemed to be getting better I knew there was something else I did then realized I was massaging it. I stopped icing it and started massaging it for 20 minutes suing the Soothing Salve. This is when I started to notice a difference. When you massage an area effected with lymphedema be sure to move the fluid towards the heart.

The rebounder helps the body to move fluid from the lymph nodes into the blood stream where it can be dealt with properly. I recommend everyone rebound, I was working out 5 days a week and told I was not working out enough. I was like what???? I work out 5 days a week and was told I needed to be rebounding in order to keep the lymphatic system working properly. It is also easier on the joints then other exercises. You do not have to jump to reap the benefits just bounce as hard as you can. This will work if you lymphedema in other areas of your body. 

This is not the rebounder I have, but it is very similar. The bar  is not only adjustable, but can also be removed. It also folds up for easy storage, this one is for individuals up to 330-440 lbs. The weight difference is to there being 2 different sizes, 40″ frame or 48″ which comes with a $20.00 price difference. Personally I do not think $129.99, lower price, is bad when it comes to our health and I’m pretty sure that is what I paid for mine back in 2015.

Have you used the rebounder? What health benefits have you seen? Share so others can learn and let me know if this was helpful. In health, Joyce

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