Exercises using leisure resources to reduce arm lymphedema


Lymphedema is characterized by a type of edema caused by the abnormal accumulation of fluid and other substances in tissues resulting from a failure of the lymphatic drainage system, together with insufficient extralymphatic proteolysis of the cell interstitium and mobilization of macromolecules. Lymphedema can cause a high degree of dysfunction including decreased joint mobility with a reduced range of movements due, in part, to the weight of the limb and pain causing difficulty or even inability to perform daily tasks. Additionally, the psychological condition of the patient is impaired from the moment of breaking the news about the disease, throughout treatment and after due to the sequelae that follow treatment. Mastectomized patients require multidisciplinary care in both the prevention and treatment of sequelae. There is a consensus that there is no single method of treating lymphedema instead a combination of therapies is recommended. Treatment should include some or all of the following: lymphatic drainage, myolymphokinetic exercises, use of compression garments or bandages, day-to-day hygienic care, nutritional guidance, psychological support and lymphokinetic drugs. An analysis of the different forms of lymphedema treatment shows that myolymphokinetic exercises, lymphatic drainage and compression mechanisms constitute the most effective combined therapy. Muscle activities should be programmed and structured to improve fitness and health, but without competitive purposes. Myolymphokinetic exercises are activities in which the movement of muscles favors the venouslymphatic circulation. However care in respect to the biomechanical principles, intensity and duration of activities should be taken. The aim of this study was to evaluate a form of programmed exercises in the recumbent position using recreational resources.

Hence, exercising, associated with compression, is an important method to treat lymphedema, but should be customized for the individual, supervised and frequently evaluated.

Exercises must be evaluated individually for each patient establishing the individual’s response otherwise the outcome may not be favorable as in this study.

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Journal of Phlebology and Lymphology

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