Question for cyclists with Lymphoedema in the leg(s)

I'm wondering if there are any LE specific cycling tights/pants or shorts available anywhere? I have looked everywhere and have not been able to find anything.

During the winter months it's not an issue as the compression garment is covered with waterproofs, however I am curious as to what everyone does during the warmer months when shorts would be the natural option. There are two main issues:

1 - Wearing one compression stocking looks odd (I realise that this shouldn't really be an issue).

2 - If shorts are worn either with or without a compression stocking, the bottom seem of the shorts digs into the leg and causes a ridge around the leg which doesn't help with swelling.

I am thinking that a pair of cycling tights with medical grade compression (30-40 mmhg) would be ideal, however I am struggling to find any.

If anyone else has any suggestions or has managed to find a solution it would be great to hear about it.

Thanks,

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Are you in the UK? Your clinic should be able to supply you with made to measure compression ‘shorts’ garments - especially if your lymphoedema affects the upper thigh/buttock/groin - these garments are available in black, so a lighter weight lycra or cotton short could be worn over the top. Tights are available (made to measure), but if only one leg is affected, which might be too much.

Some of the OTC cycling shorts have light compression - but I understand how they can cut in at the cuff on the leg - would a size larger help, or even loosening the stitching at the cuff?

Are you a competitive cyclist or do it for pleasure?

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Yes, I’m in the UK. I’ll have a chat with the LE nurse and see if there is anything available. As my whole right leg is affected I don’t think shorts will be a feasible option, but the made to measure tights may be ok.

Loosening the cuff might be an option, but will still be left with one black le if I need the stocking as well!?

I just cycle for pleasure and have found when combined with compression it’s great for reducing and controlling swelling.

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Good idea to chat with nurse - she should be able to help. If the other leg is unaffected, MTM compression tights may be OTT - but she is the best one to advise.

Loosening the cuff - I meant loosening the cuff on the affected leg side of an existing pair of shorts - to experiment - especially if your body (hip/buttock/groin) above the stocking is unaffected.

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Hi

I have LE in right leg and am a runner. My clinic here in UK was selected to trial sports compression garments from a Finnish company called Lymed. I was lucky enough to be selected to receive a free pair of made to measure leggings. The leggings are amazingly comfortable and they look just like a pair of normal sports leggings that you would buy off the shelf but the compression in the affected leg is equivalent to(i think) a class 2/3. Unfortunately they are not availble on prescription. I bought a second pair at a cost of about £230.

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Hi Blacky, thanks for this info, it sounds like the leggings you were fortunate enough to be offered are exactly the sort of thing I’m looking for. I’ve looked on the site and it seems like they supply health care professionals rather that private individuals. You don’t happen to have a contact that you could put me in touch with do you? I’d be interested in looking into getting a pair.

Also, I used to do a bit of running before the LE but since having it have found the impact causes lots of swelling. How do you get on, and are you able to avoid extra swelling for the couple of days after running?

Thanks!

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Hi

I got the leggings via my LE clinic so do not have a direct contact. Great news from Whitesugar that these are now available on prescription.

Running does cause hardness in my affected leg so I have had to cut down the length of the run.

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Lymed compression hosiery is now available on prescription. Measuring for it is complicated as it is not knitted, but a pattern is made, fabric cut out and stitched together.

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That's good news - thanks! Have you had some prescribed already?

I'll mention this to my LE nurse and see if they are available.

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They are on the Drug Tariff so fully available to prescribe. I requested some tights for a patient, on prescription, with the help of the clinical nurse specialist from H&R Healthcare who represent Lymed in the UK. They take a bit longer to make than other flatknits and I wouldn't recommend asking a GP Practice directly for the prescription unless they are very experienced at dealing with custom made hosiery requests. We use a specialist home delivery prescription service who contact the GP, request the prescription, sort out any problems and post the hosiery to the patient.

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Hello River83,

I sincerely hope you manage to find what you want, but can I just say you have made my day as I feel a bit low about my Lymphodema which I have in both feet, you have given me hope, that things could improve for me. Years ago every time I went to my GP his answer to my problem was lose weight, join a gym, go speed walking everyday and follow a low GI diet or Jamie Oliver's 15 minute recipes to get quality healthy low calorie food into you instead of the food that makes you fat. My circumstances though are not good as I barely get teaching jobs for any length of time ( Being in my 50's is the reason for that of course as the age fit is normally for younger people or NQT's) to afford joining the gym and hitting a diet regime that is expensive. But you have given me hope in that you cycle, so maybe I should do cycle related exercises indoors to see if that helps. All the best for 2018 and here's hoping problems ease too.

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That's great to hear, I hope you find that cycling helps and can find a way to improve your LE.

The ketogenic diet has done wonders for my LE and has enabled me to keep the swelling under control. I'd recommend it combined with as much non-impact exercise as you can manage.

Good luck!

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If you are in UK goto Idealworld.tv website search for Proskins they do high waisted lyra shorts and leggings as the shorts you can wear under a dress and the leggings under trousers or just as they are dress up or down as very smart. i have both they are brilliant if you go for the Slim Plus Range they have a tighter compression and narrower bottom which can slip over your heel I prefer the original Proskins as they have more stretch.

I am 5ft 4in size 20 with the original Proskins I got into size 18.

Proskins are true to size and wash well hang to dry no ironing. Machine or hand wash.

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Hi River - had a chat with my daughter yesterday. She works for a company that specialises in cycling clothes. She said they don’t manufacture compressive stuff - yet - but it’s under discussion (she recently joined the company- lots of fresh ideas!). She is a triathlete, and does wear compression for training. She uses stuff from 2XU. May be worth checking out?

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Thanks for this - I'll have a look into 2XU. If and when your daughters company start to make compression garments, please let us all know.

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Hi River

I wear Mtm cycling shorts daily but when the nurse measured we added a few cm on at the knee and gradually added less on as we went up the leg to give a gradual increase in pressure ( my le is mainly upper thigh and groin) with stops tourniquet effect at the knee.

Lots of sports manufacturers do a compression range now but they are still quite light compression compared to prescription garments (but better than no compression). I went to John Lewis who stock most of the big brands to try them all on for fit and compression before ordering online.

Please let me know how you get in with lymed as I am def interested in them too but will speak to my nurse first and see if they can get them 😄

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