Alison* was a client who recently came into our practice with a common problem that was helped with a specific treatment. We thought we would share her story with you.
In the past Alison* had suffered from fluid retention in the extremities of her limbs, but it had never become a problem that affected her daily activities that she needed to address. Alison* had visited the practice for other injuries such as shoulder and neck complaints, she had undergone a Total Knee Replacement operation and decided to come back to see us for her rehabilitation.
The surgery and the proceeding rehabilitation went well, Alison* regained her movement and function in the knee. However, after some weeks she began to have problems with fluid retention in her lower limb. This was causing discomfort around her knee, as well as below and above the replacement. Compression bandaging was helping but it wasn’t enough.
The problem was that Alison’s* lymphatic system was not functioning properly to remove the fluid that was collecting up in the tissues. The Physio decided to change his approach when addressing the problem and started some sessions specifically utilising lymphatic drainage massage.
Our lymphatic system is responsible for moving fluid from our tissues through very fine drainage networks to our lymph nodes, where it is then returned to our normal circulatory system. When this isn’t working our system can need help to move that fluid through the system. Lymphatic drainage massage involves very light strokes in the exact direction along the limbs to push fluid from the tissues through the lymph vessels to the lymph nodes. The order of treatment and getting the massage strokes in the right direction is highly important when obtaining a good outcome.
After five sessions focused on the lymphatic drainage massage, followed up by compression bandaging of the lower limb, the fluid retention had dramatically reduced. Alison* was able to make even more forward strides in her rehabilitation by progressing from a pool program and into a land based gym program.
*The name has been changed to protect the privacy of our client.