Author(s): Vaqas B, Ryan TJ
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Abstract Low cost reduction of morbidity in lymphoedema is an essential goal in the management of lymphatic filariasis. This review emphasises the role of movement and elevation, and refers to the literature on the effects of these on the venous and lymphatic system. The patient with lymphoedema becomes increasingly immobile and the affected limb is often in a permanently dependent position causing venous hypertension and resultant overloading of the failing lymphatics. The evidence that breathing exercises are important for reducing venous hypertension and inducing lymphatic flow is discussed.The contribution of a damaged epidermis to lymphatic failure is emphasised. Loss of barrier function encourages penetration of bacteria and stimulates repair mechanisms that generate cytokines, which, in turn lead to inflammation. Management programmes that improve the health of the epidermis play a part in reducing lymphatic load.In taking morbidity management of lymphoedema into the general health services there are benefits in promoting skin hygiene and self-help regimes that can ameliorate many diseases along with lymphoedema.
This article was published in Filaria J
and referenced in Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy