Long distance travel (over 8 hours) by plane, bus, car or train may increase the risk of developing lymphoedema, or worsen existing lymphoedema.
- Elevate your swollen limb.
- Perform manual lymphatic drainage, exercises and deep breathing daily.
- Keep moving!
- Wear a prescribed compression garment as advised, especially when travelling. You may need to increase your compression grade when flying, your physiotherapist will advise you about this.
- Maintain daily hygiene and skin care as this is essential to prevent infection.
- Take steps to prevent infection, such as covering cuts and cleaning cuts with antiseptic.
- Avoid trauma, cuts, scratches and pin pricks due to the risk of contracting an infection.
- In the instance that you do have an infection, treat it immediately and seek medical attention as a course of antibiotics may be required.
- Eat a sensible diet and maintain a healthy weight.
- Monitor your lymphoedema and tell your doctor or therapist if you notice any of the following symptoms: discomfort, pain, heaviness, fullness, swelling, burning, itching, numbness, pins and needles, change in temperature, redness of the skin, indentations from clothing or accessories.
- Don’t wear tight clothing or jewellery (such as watches). Wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes.
- Injections must not be given, nor blood pressure taken on the limb that is affected or at risk.
- Don’t overheat. Avoid hot baths, saunas, spas, tanning beds, sunburn.
- Don’t carry heavy shoulder bags on the affected side – use the opposite side.
- Don’t perform strenuous exercise if your body isn’t used to it.
- Don’t exercise in hot weather, ensure an adequate cool-down after exercising.
- Don’t receive heavy, kneading massage.
- Don’t perform jobs/activities that cause overload or stress to the affected limb.
- Don’t hold heavy objects for long periods (including babies) as this reduces lymphatic flow.
- Don’t ignore even the slightest increase in symptoms…seek treatment immediately.
If you have any questions, or to book an appointment, please contact Physio For You on (02) 4392 1547.