Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. It results from a blockage in your lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid buildup leads to swelling. Whilst worldwide figures are unknown, the condition appears to occur in approximately 20% of people who undergo lymph node removal surgery and usually occurs within 3 years of the operation.
Though Lymphedema isn't generally life-threatening, it's a chronic condition. The condition usually develops gradually with symptoms consisting of tingling or numbness, aching and heavy feeling, decreased flexibility and/or a tightness in the hand, arm, chest, breast, or underarm areas. Controlling swelling and preventing infection in the swollen areas is essential to health and wellness.
HOW CAN LIGHT THERAPY BENEFIT LYMPHEDEMA?
The light therapy provided by the PhysioCare Laser works in several ways to reduce pain and inflammation. The patient should apply light therapy via the PhysioCare daily or every other day over the area of lymphedema flare up to:
- stimulate cellular energy (ATP) and tissue repair
- reduce inflammation and promote blood oxygen (nitric oxide)
- encourage the body's own healing process
- provide natural pain relief.
Of course, drinking plenty of water and moderate exercise may also be helpful in the management of Lymphedema.