When it comes to chronic swelling, many people with lymphedema find ways to manage symptoms at home. Because chronic swelling can often be painful, it’s essential to look for ways to reduce swelling and pain. Here are a few common ways people manage their swelling at home:
Focused exercises are one lymphedema treatment that can be especially beneficial for preventing excessive inflammation. Speak to your medical provider or physical therapist about specific exercises for your affected limb that will help with fluid flow. Stretches and focused movements on the affected limb can be done every other day or so to help with chronic swelling.
Additionally, it’s essential to stay active in some way, but you’ll want to make sure you’re not doing anything that’s too high-impact. Water exercise could be one of the best ways to get exercise as it allows you to do more strenuous movements with less impact.
For most people who have lymphedema swelling, compression gear is needed. Compression wear may take some getting used to, but fortunately, some stylish designs can help you feel a bit better about wearing them. What’s most important about this type of gear is the level of compression provided.
Speak to your medical provider about what level you need so you can be sure to reap the benefits. Invest in loose-fitting clothes that make it easier for you to wear them.
Lymphatic drainage massage can be helpful when you’re dealing with painful swelling. Through a two-step process of releasing lymphatic fluid from tissues to massaging lymphatic fluid to your lymph nodes, this kind of massage can be necessary for those who have a more advanced stage of lymphedema.
You can either get treatment with a physical therapist or use a pneumatic pump that can help do the same thing for you—whatever makes it easier for you to get this type of massage treatment is what you should use.
Eat healthy, anti-inflammatory foods
Eating a healthy diet is always essential, but even more so when managing inflammation with chronic swelling. From fish to kale, cauliflower, arugula, and berries, it’s wise to incorporate fresh foods and lean protein into your diet to help your body do the work of keeping inflammation away.
Additionally, make sure to drink plenty of ginger tea to help reduce inflammation as well. Signing up for a healthy food subscription meal plan can make it easier for you to get the nutrients you need without spending too much time preparing your meals.
Elevate affected limb
Whether your lymphedema is causing swelling in your arms or legs, taking some time to elevate it can help you encourage the flow of fluids. This can be beneficial for reducing the pain you may be feeling, especially on a long day with a lot of movement.
You want to be sure to use the affected limb throughout your day, but also make sure to elevate in the evenings to help provide relief with your chronic swelling. While not necessarily related, if you’re already setting aside time to elevate your limbs, make sure to practice skincare to prevent infection.
Chronic swelling is something that will require you to manage it. Although it’s not something that has a cure just yet, various types of lymphedema treatment can help you manage it while reducing the pain and keeping it from advancing. Every case is different so before deciding on the best treatment for you, speak with your doctor about what could be best for your specific swelling stage and your health needs.