LSN
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Exercise advise? (single leg lymphoedema)

Hello again. I'm looking for some more advice please. I'm still waiting for my pressure garment, but in the meantime I've given myself a 100 day exercise challenge, to get into the habit of doing some kind of physical exertion every day.

I'm getting on well, cycling or swimming or indoor rowing every day. I'm also lifting arm weights daily. However, I don't know where to find any guidance about what is or isn't ok to do with my leg and abdominal lymphoedema - eg am I ok to do sit-ups and ab crunches, or should I avoid them? is it ok to lift weights with my affected leg?

Any suggestions? should I be looking for a physio or personal trainer with experience and knowledge of lymphoedema, or am I ok just getting on with it myself?

Any thoughts gratefully received!

17 Replies
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That should say 'advice', not advise

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Talk to a private physiotherapist. The ones I know have a decent knowledge of lymphoedema.

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Thank you. I'll have a look at their websites to see if they say anything about lymphoedema, and I'll ask around too.

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Hello, I have single leg and hip lymphoedema and am encouraged to do exercise. It’s better with compression but getting the fluid pumping is key. Do you have tight leggings for exercise in the meantime, will help in some way to compress the leg and help reduce the lymphoedema? Swimming is fine as the water acts as compression. Also raise the leg when you can, ie on footstool. And a yoga exercise, lying with legs up the wall is also helpful. The weights and other exercise really helped my leg and my lower leg is now almost back to normal.

Good luck with your regime xox

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Many thanks for this. I'm already finding that walking less and cycling and swimming instead is helping. And today I got my pressure garments, so with luck things should start to improve now. Here's hoping!

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Hello Jfvb, You know swollen feet and legs has been in my family for years, on my dad's side and I now have swollen feet and legs. But one of the exercises my dad and I had both been advised to do was "walk the wall. " My dad thought the doctor was joking when his doctor told him to do that. So the instruction was lie on your bed and with your legs slightly bent straighten each foot out to the wall and stretch in turn as if walking the wall. He told him that not only was this good for the swelling of the feet but it was also good to reduce the stiffness and swelling he had in the knees.

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Literally put your foot on the wall? Or figuratively? What if your bed isnt close to a wall?

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The LSN have a leaflet and DVD on leg execises for lymphoedema which might be a useful guide.

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Oh thanks. I'll have a good look at those.

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Good for you! My therapist urged recumbent biking and swim exercises for cardio. She said we can so walking which is what I like to do, but she stressed the need for compression. I will be interested to hear what you find out.

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Hi there, I thought I'd update you. So far (only two weeks with the stocking so far) I'm finding that cycling is great, swimming is also great. Walking too far results in more swelling, but I've yet to decide how much is too much. Did an 8 mile coast path walk earlier this week which was lovely (but had to keep hitching the stocking up - not elegant!). Main problem with stocking has been stopping it wrinkling behind the knee when I'm out walking, but I guess with more practice I'll figure it out.

I'm on holiday at the moment which is more difficult, but when at home I've been either doing a 10 mile cycle ride every day or swimming a kilometre or so. Def helping my activity, and my morale too.

I'll be interested to hear how you get on too!

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You are doing much better than me I am afraid. You inspire me though. Inwill report back in one month!

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Please do! - lets stay in touch and encourage each other.

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Thank you. I've just got my pressure stockings today so very excited to see if they help things to improve more quickly. And am already finding that less walking and more cycling and swimming seems to be helping a bit. Am 12 days into my 100 day challenge now, and really finding it empowering. Good to hear that recumbent biking and swimming recommended to you.

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Hi, actually walking makes me swell little more, but than when I rest and elevate my leg, I'm getting a little better swelling reduction. I was scared to walk for that reason, but I think it has big impact on our overall health so worth to try. Also I have noticed that I'm not swelling too fast on bike. I'm using my stocking toes-groin. I know there are compression stockings for swimming, I plan to test that too.

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Thanks for that Snup, sorry for delay in replying, internet down. Yes I think I'm finding the same - cycling less likely to cause swelling than walking. Am trying to reduce reliance on walking as main exercise and instead cycle and swim more. Will look into compression stocking for swimming, not heard of that before.

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Great, lets stay in touch and inspire and encourage each other!

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