Mount Pleasant

Lymphoedema & Lipoedema Rehab for Cancer

At Tweak Health, we offer holistic and hands-on Physiotherapy, including our specialized Lymphoedema & Lipoedema Rehab for Cancer, to help you recover faster from injury or pain. We provide firm and effective treatments based on your goals. Get started today!

Our Clinical Approach to Lymphoedema & Lipoedema Rehab for Cancer

Questions about your treatment

How can physio help with recovery from cancer?

A physio trained in cancer rehab understands how cancer and treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and medication affect the body physically, mentally, and cognitively. These treatments can lead to physical impairments such as pain, fatigue, lymphoedema, weakness, restricted range of motion, joint pain, and osteoporosis. We aim to minimize these side effects and ultimately improve your quality of life.

When should I start physio? Before or after treatment?

We strongly recommend having an initial consult before treatment begins to create an individual plan. However, you can start physiotherapy at any point in the journey.

What can I expect from physio?

Treatment varies depending on the individual’s needs. Examples include hands-on treatment or scar management post-surgery, individual exercise programs aimed at strengthening muscles and improving joint movement, or specific walking or cycling programs to help manage fatigue during chemotherapy. We also provide rehab to manage the many side effects of cancer medication, especially hormonal side effects.

What is lymphoedema and how do I know if I need treatment?

Lymphoedema is a disease characterized by a chronic and progressive build-up of fluid and other elements (e.g., proteins) in the tissue spaces of the body. The lymph system transports and processes fluid within the body, and then the waste from this fluid is excreted. However, when this system is damaged, a backlog occurs, similar to a traffic jam, resulting in fluid build-up. Frequently, people experience this condition after lymph node removal, surgery, or radiation, as well as from other medical conditions or trauma. Consequently, it is important to engage with a lymphoedema therapist to monitor for lymphoedema following cancer treatment.

What conditions benefit from lymphoedema treatment?

Lymphoedema can be classified as primary or secondary. Primary lymphoedema results from hereditary or congenital abnormalities of the lymphatic system. In this condition, the lymph vessels develop abnormally, and onset can occur at birth, during puberty, or in adulthood.

Secondary Lymphoedema

Secondary lymphoedema arises from damage to the vessels and/or lymph nodes of the lymphatic system. This damage can result from an operation, radiotherapy, infections, burns, or serious wounds or injuries. It also associates with an overload of the lymphatic system, where it cannot function properly, which can occur with venous disease, immobility, lipoedema, or obesity.

What would treatment entail?

Working with a lymphoedema therapist is crucial for optimal condition management. Therapy options include manual lymphatic drainage, bandaging, compression garment prescription, and other modalities.

What is lipoedema?

Lipoedema is a chronic condition that causes the build-up of adipose (fat) tissue in the body. It typically affects the thighs, buttocks, lower legs, and occasionally the arms. The condition primarily impacts females and appears to have both hormonal and genetic components. People with lipoedema may face a higher risk of developing lymphoedema.

Summary of Treatment Options

Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy

Decongestive lymphatic therapy comprises multiple treatment approaches for lymphoedema and is performed by therapists with appropriate training. These therapies include:

  • Manual lymphatic drainage: A type of light massage that promotes movement of lymphatic fluid out of the swollen limb or region.
  • Compression therapy: This involves compression bandaging and/or compression garments that aim at reducing or controlling swelling.
  • Skin care: Skin changes are associated with lymphoedema so maintaining adequate skin care promotes healthy skin integrity and reduces the risk of infection.
  • Exercise: A mixture of resistance and strength training offers many benefits, including improved blood circulation, stimulated lymphatic system, maintained healthy weight, and enhanced limb movement and overall quality of life.

Additional Modalities

Treatment may also include other modalities such as Sequential Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (SIPC), Low-Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), and Kinesio taping. Therapists with appropriate training undertake decongestive lymphatic therapy and actively collaborate with other medical professionals working with the patient.

Services Available

  • Regular Physiotherapy
  • Lymphoedema Treatment
  • Cancer Rehab
  • Lipoedema Treatment