Canadian Lymphedema Conference

We are looking forward to this year’s Canadian Lymphedema Conference, co-sponsored by the Canadian Lymphedema Framework and Lymphedema Association of Ontario. Together, these two groups have come together to create the biggest and best lymphedema-related conference in Canada.

Lymphedema is a condition that has been under-diagnosed and under-treated for many years. As a medical condition that affects the lives of breast cancer survivors it has begun to be more widely recognized. This conference will showcase the latest developments and research in the field for both therapists and patients. It will also offer a time to network and discuss, and engage in peer-to-peer information exchange and support. if you haven’t registered for the conference yet, don’t worry! Registration is still open, just click on one of the above links to take you to the registration information.

Of course, Lymphedema Depot will be there with a booth in the exhibitor area. Stop by and see us! We’ll have surprises and new products and even a bit of swag! It’s going to be a fun, educational conference. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Leukotape® K: A Great Addition to Your Toolbox

 

I recently attended a kinesiotaping class sponsored by BSN Medical and taught by Louise Danielli. Louise has co-developed and teaches Neuro-Proprioceptive Taping for Lymphedema using Leukotape® K by BSN Medical.

The class was dynamic and interactive. There was a lecture portion in the morning and after a good lunch that was included in the price of the workshop we had the opportunity to do hands on work with Leukotape® K.

I learned that neuro-proprioceptive taping has a number of ingenious applications for lymphedema. The tape itself is specially made to lightly lift the skin and move with the patient. This skin stimulation has the effect of creating a space where the lymphatics are lightly stimulated and lymphatic fluid flow is encouraged. This helps to gently amplify the lymphatic drainage from a saturated area to a lymphatic territory that can absorb and process this excess fluid.

In addition to serving as an adjunct to lymphedema treatment, Leukotape® K also has many applications in more orthopedic cases. The tape can be used for joint support, pain relief and muscle inhibition or facilitation, either holding muscles in place or helping them move more easily, depending on how tape is applied.

Louise has had experience with many kinds of neuro-proprioceptive tape, and she spoke very highly of Leukotape® K as having superior adhesive qualities. She also explained that the fact that Leukotape® K is also available in three different sizes makes it especially versatile. By choosing the most appropriate size, the practitioner can save time that might be spent cutting larger widths down to size. The availability of a wider size also gives the opportunity to use the tape in more supportive applications over larger muscle groups using fewer strips.

The class was inspiring and energizing. As a therapist I look forward to using tape as another tool in finding the best solutions for my patients.

To find out more about BSN’s Leukotape® K visit our website here. To find out about taking a class to learn about this application, practitioners should contact their local BSN medical representative.

 

 

 

 

Solaris Tribute: Problem Solver

The Solaris Tribute offers comfortable nighttime compression and lymphatic stimulation to lymphedema sufferers.

While this is true, let’s not forget that the Solaris Tribute also offers a valid care option for other conditions as well.

Recent studies have shown that obesity can be a cause of lymphedema, or chronic edema. We know from experience that applying the needed compression bandaging to the legs of patients suffering from lymphedema as a reult of obesity can be challenging at best. These patients require bandaging of both legs, and effective compression bandaging can only be applied to the tops of the legs in most cases. However, what is needed is compression that reaches above the transverse watershed at the level of the navel. The watershed is where the direction of lymphatic flow changes. If the fluid in the legs and lower abdomen can be stimulated and encouraged to flow into the adjacent watershed area, the pressure of excess swelling can be reduced. This is why the pants-style garments should extend above the navel.

Lipedema patients also benefit from this same compression application. The compression in the Tribute pants may increase the efficiency of the lymph vessels. These patients are often not able to tolerate elastic compression garments because one of the symptoms of lipedema is pain in the legs. This pain is a sensitivity at the skin level, which is made worse by pressure. For these patients the soft, variable compression provided by Solaris Tribute garments is often felt as comforting rather than challenging. The tissue receives support and the lymphatics also receive critical support. Over time, this support can reduce the symptoms of lipedema.

Because all Tribute garments are custom-manufactured to your specific measurements, they can be used on any part of the body. The rule of thumb is that if there is swelling, cover it with a Tribute. I would encourage  you to look through our entire catalog of Tribute garments to see what is possible. Solaris Tribute garments are not only for arms and legs, they can be made for and worn over every other part of the body, too.

To see the designs for the Tribute, visit the Tribute section of our website at: http://www.lymphedemadepot.com/products/solaris/tribute/selections/

March 6th is Lymphedema Awareness Day

 

March 6th is Lymphedema Awareness Day. What does this mean? It is a day that is set aside to share information about lymphedema, a conditon of chronic swelling.

Lymphedema can be a side effect of of breast cancer treatment. When lymph nodes are removed for diagnostic purposes, the lymphatic pathways that transport excess fluid in the body are disturbed and the fluid builds up in areas that can not be properly drained.Constituents of the fluid such as water, protein molecules, cellular debris, toxins and bacteria begin to collect in the poorly-drained area and chronic swelling results. Over time the tissue begins to thicken and, as the bacteria flourish, the risk and incidence of infection rises also. Anyone who has had lymph nodes surgically removed is at a lifetime risk of developing lymphedema.

Lymphedema can also be a condition that the patient is born with. It may show up in infancy, adolescence or adulthood, but the result is still chronic swelling that will often progress until it is is treated. If the lymphedema goes untreated it can result in elephantiasis, a term for a large, distorted limb or limbs.

These figures come to us from the Lymphedema Association of Ontario:

  • Over 63,000 children and adults* live with primary or secondary lymphedema in Ontario.
  • 246,000 Ontario cancer survivors** are at a lifetime risk of developing lymphedema.
  • Currently, Ontario has just over 100 certified lymphedema therapists.
  • Some parts of Ontario have little or no access to a certified lymphedema therapist.

* Lymphedema Association of Ontario estimate (2004).
** Based on Cancer Care Ontario data (2004).

Lymphedema has a history of being underdiagnosed and lymphedema patients have little access to appropriate care. As awareness of lymphedema grows, real information about lymphedema and its treatment and managememt is still lacking for many.

Lymphedema Awareness Day is March 6 of every year and we have chosen this day as a day to draw attention to lymphedema. We believe that lymphedema awareness is lymphedema education. We are dedicated to improving the lives of lymphedema patients, and information and awareness are key components of making life with lymphedema easier and more bearable.We look forward to a day when lymphedema patients can have access to the care they need and find understanding of their condition wherever they go.

We encourage you to do an internet search for the term Lymphedema Awareness Day in Canada. You might be surprised at what you can learn!