Stop The Heat!
I loved heat. Hot weather, hot compresses, hot showers and hot tubs. The more heat the better. A massage and heat. “The Best!” Heat was my friend. It provided a short lived form of relief and it would call me back for more at an increasingly high rate. So what was I supposed to do? Heat is can be used to reduce muscle spasms, relieve pain, reduce stiffness. What it does do to provide those benefits is it brings increased blood circulation to the area which promotes healing. What I didn’t know was that just like in cooking, when you remove something from the stove, the heat process from the hot water or compress continues to bring increased blood flow to the area.
Active Hyperemeria . It is an increase in arterial blood flow which causes the blood capillary pressure, (this is where exchange of fluid between the blood vessels and tissues occurs) to increase which allows water to flow out into the tissues. For those of us who have circulation, inflammation, swelling and edema difficulties, this is just setting us up for it to continue.
So how do you still enjoy the heat without the negative side effects? You can follow up any heat application with a cooling down portion. Cold therapy slows down blood flow to an area. If you use a hot pack for pain, follow it up with a cold pack to the area for a little. If you like hot showers, try turning off the hot water slowly and rinsing off with cool water. The cool feeling will help to slow the exchange of water into the tissues and leaves you feeling refreshed!
Paying attention to how often you use heat and making sure you follow up with a cooling off will overtime have your sore muscles feeling better and promotes an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
What is the Role of the Lymphatic System?
The lymphatic system is a group of small organs (nodes) and vessels through which lymph fluid flows. The lymphatic system functions in cooperation with the circulatory system, which carries blood throughout the body. The Lymphatic System picks up where the circulatory system cannot . It takes on excess loads the circulatory system is unable to handle and assists in its reabsorption.
The Lymphatic System consists of:
Lymph vessels called capillaries, pre collectors, lymph collectors, and lymphatic trunks.
Lymphatic tissue is formed to be lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, adenoids and the thymus.
Who can benefit from compression stockings?
Anyone’s legs can feel better while wearing an appropriate gradient compression stockings, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, standing or in a sedentary position. If you have any of the following, compression garments can help: Tired, aching, heavy feeling legs, Leg swelling, Varicose veins, Venous insufficiency, Post-thrombotic syndrome Healed venous ulcers, Active venous ulcers, Lymphedema. I recommend that you consult with a knowledgeable professional before wearing compression stockings 20 mmHg and above. If you have arterial circulation problems, or acute cardiac problems, please consult with your physician before wearing any level of compression.
What is Manual Lymph Drainage?
This is a gentle, non-invasive manual technique that has a powerful effect on the body. It has proven it’s efficacy as a stand-alone treatment and in combination with other therapies for Lymphedema. Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) or a lymphatic massage, alone may be used with much success in many conditions unrelated to lymphedema, such as inflammatory diseases, headaches and for post surgical edema.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapy (OT) is a health profession that helps individuals with various disabilities achieve independence in all areas of their lives. It gives people the “skills for the job of living” independent and satisfying lives. OT assists clients in developing the skills to take care of themselves when a health problem limits normal, day-to-day activity, such as bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, doing housework and participating in leisure activities like getting you back to playing tennis, golf, other favored activities that are limited by your condition.
Therapy may include the following:
* Exercises related to activities and function of the upper body
* Training to improve self-care, dressing and activities of daily living
* Energy conservation measures for improved endurance
* Home improvements for safety and increased independence
* Training on the use of adaptive equipment to improve independence and safety during daily life tasks
* Assessment and treatment of Lymphedema and other swelling disorders
Occupational therapy assists the patients in developing the skills to take care of themselves when a health problem limits normal, day-to-day activity, such as bathing, dressing, eating, preparing meals, doing housework and participating in leisure activities like getting you back to playing tennis, golf, other favored activities that are limited by your condition.