Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)
MLD is a specialised form of massage therapy that uses a series of precise, rhythmical movements to stimulate the flow of lymph in the body. The lymphatic system plays a vital role in controlling the fluid levels in the body; it filters toxins, prevents the spread of infection and is an intrinsic part of the body’s immune system.
MLD therefore assists the body in all forms of healing, whether it is from physical injury with the associated swelling or while recovering from an illness that taxes the immune system.
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) – Lymphedema Management
CDT is considered the gold standard of treatment for lymphedema. Lymphedema is a chronic and life altering condition that manifests itself when the body’s lymphatic system is compromised and becomes unable to drain protein rich fluid from the tissues, usually in the arms or legs. This causes permanent swelling of the part of the body affected. There is a genetic component (primary lymphedema) but the vast majority of cases are a result of cancer treatments (secondary lymphedema). Surgery, lymph node removal, radiation therapy and vascular disease have the potential to damage the lymphatic system and increase the risk of developing lymphedema.
Complete Decongestive Therapy is a management protocol for lymphedema, lipedema and associated vascular disorders. It consists of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) + Compression Bandaging + Exercise. After the intense phase of treatment, the patient is taught how to maintain and control the swelling at home. Read More >>
Moist Wound Care Combined with Compression Bandaging
Problems with the lymphatic and venous systems can result in chronic wounds. A chronic wound is one that does not progress through the natural stages of healing and remains open for more than three months, in many cases, without adequate treatment, these wounds can remain open for years. Creating the correct moisture balanced environment for healing and simultaneously appling the correct level of compression has a profoundly positive effect on the healing time. An intensive phase of wound care with regular dressing changes (every 3-7 days) is needed initially. Compression stockings are then fitted to prevent recurrence and address the physiological cause of the wounds.
Compression garments are the cornerstone of long term, consistent management of chronic swelling and venous insufficiency. While manual lymph drainage is an important part of the combined treatment, it only assists while it is being administered. Our lymphatic and blood circulatory systems work around the clock and compression garments give the patient this 24 hour support.
A successful compression garment is one that the patient is willing and comfortable wearing. At Restorative Therapies patients are measured correctly and fully assessed before ordering their compression garments.
There are many factors to be taken into account when choosing a garment:
- Compression Class – how much external pressure is needed.
- Coverage – which area of the body needs compression.
- Time worn – when does the patient need to wear the compression.
- Age and fitness of the patient – an elderly patient might not be able to pull a compression sock on and this needs to be discussed and worked around. A young patient might want a choice of different colours and styles.
- Ready Made vs Custom Made – ready made garments work well for patients with regular proportions. Some patients, especially with lymphedema, do not fit into the regular sizes. This is when a custom made garment is needed to give the patient a comfortable and effective compression garment.