Can bandaging help while exercising? : I have had... - LSN

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Can bandaging help while exercising?

caroline111 profile image

I have had secondary lymphoedema in both legs for about ten years and a year ago it got a lot worse in my right leg for no reason that I can understand other than, I think, the flu vaccine. Until then I had been running for about half an hour three times a week and walking holidays were no problem. I always wore compression tights Class 1.

I stopped running soon after my right leg got worse because it would feel worse afterwards (although I don’t think running was the cause of it getting worse in the first place) I went to Class 2 in compression in the summer but didn’t try running again until the last few weeks. Again, I feel that it has made my right leg worse. It always feels heavier and more swollen the next day. I recently moved to flat knit tights and together with the class 2 compression I thought I would be OK for running so I’m disappointed with the result. I run more for my mental health than anything else and I’m extremely reluctant to give it up. I was wondering if bandaging my leg before I go running would help? Any ideas would be gratefully received.

7 Replies

It’s worth a try, but you might find the bandages loosen and drop, which could cause irritation. A few of my clients had similar experiences, and tried a variety of methods - bandaging over garments seemed to work, but one chap in particular found the impact on his knees in bandages (ex rugby layer) was too much, so he invested in a pair of cross country ski sticks and went fast walking instead - he thought he’d invented a new exercise till he saw an ad for a new Nordic Walking Group in our area!! (He did eventually join the group!!)

Hi caroline

I can empathise with your frustration; I've had to compromise on a lot of my activities one of which was running. I haven't run much since I developed lymphoedema nearly 5 years ago partly because I have lymphoedema in one foot and I've not yet managed to find a pair of trainers to fit both feet comfortably.

Your compression journey is similar to mine and I am now in class 2 MTM flat knit. Does your flat knit stocking generally control your swelling well? It took 3 goes to get the fit right for me.

As Lynora says you could try bandaging over your stockings. If they help but fall down it might be worth trying a wrap. I have a wrap for my lower leg which I use now and then over an class 2 circular knit stocking - just for a change as much as anything although it's quite freeing to not have my flat knit round my knee and at the end of the day the wrap actually reduces my calf and ankle swelling albeit temporarily. I think the latter arrangement might work well for me for running provided I can sort out the running shoe problem.

caroline111 profile image
caroline111 in reply to Perido

Thanks Perido. Although the new flatknit tights are class 2 I don't feel they're really controlling the swelling enough. I'm now thinking I need to get the swelling down first so will post separately on Hiva mat/ compression pumps

Do you have access to a specialist clinic? You may need a series of measures, including a stronger class of compression. I'm forturnate that I'm near St George's (Tooting, London) and am currently undergoing total decongestive therapy, which means heavy bandaging for three weeks and then being fitted with new compression hosiery for the reduced limb (the left leg in my case). It's quite arduous but it definitely works.

Thank you, that sounds really interesting. It sounds like you've had this type of treatment before - 3 weeks of heavy bandaging and then new hosiery. How often each year do you need this heavy bandaging in order to keep the swelling down?

It's very infrequent. I was first done about 7 years ago. The current round is only my second time.

Thanks, frankem. I hope it helps you.

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