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Lymphatic massage and/or compression machine

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 430
Joined: Jan 2017

My lymphedema in legs is not really bad but enough to look puffy. PT has suggested a compression machine ( a large sleeve - one for each leg) that would be used once a day for one hour to reduce swelling. Have any of you tried or have one? My insurance will cover the cost but I am wondering if I really need it. Also, has anyone else ever wondered if lymphatic massage moved cancer if in the nodes? I asked my doc and answer was - not sure !  Just wondering! 

Anonymous user (not verified)

My husband was paralyzed, so whenever he was in the hospital they would use one for blood circulation.  I'm sure it's not the same thing, but I would think that it work well.  I have a leg, thigh wrap that inflates/deflates and I think it feels great, but I don't have lymphedema.  As far as the massage moving cancer, I asked my oncology nurse about a simple theraputic massage and the effect of moving cancer in the nodes.  She said no, it woiuldn't.  

Fridays Child
Posts: 214
Joined: Jul 2019

He had lymphoma and had to use this for his legs.  It was just as you described, although I think he did it twice a day for 20 minutes.  Might have done it longer at night if he didn't have time to di it in the morning before going to work.

Armywife's picture
Posts: 452
Joined: Feb 2018

I'm interested to know the answer to this question!  Several years ago, I had regular massages to help with fibromyalgia pain.  I haven't had a massage since cancer, and I really would love to have one.  But I have wondered....

BluebirdOne's picture
Posts: 452
Joined: Jul 2018

for 12 hours to prevent blood clots. It was strange and kept me from sleeping. 

Donna Faye's picture
Donna Faye
Posts: 430
Joined: Jan 2017

Dana Farber has a good article on massage and lymph massage and other sites as well say cancer is not moved by massage. I had massages 2/month 22 years go after BC and credit it with my excellent recovery as my massage therapist and I became great friends. I had a lymph massage this morning and I feel good and my knees are also less painful. I love this young man who is an oncology PT. He has just received his certification and is so eager to help cancer patients. I feel lucky to have him on my team. 

Tamlen's picture
Posts: 319
Joined: Jan 2018

I'm not seeing any signs of lymphedema in my legs and I've been exercising vigorously in part to try to keep it at bay. If anything, my thighs are getting narrower in my pants as my muscles return. But...I have terrible knee pain most of the time, which I've attributed to the aromatase inhibitor. After reading your post, Donna, I'm wondering if there's any chance the pain in my knees is early lymphedema. Has anyone else experienced really painful knees that turned out to be a sign of lymphedema?

Posts: 32
Joined: Jan 2017

I used the compression sleeves for my legs and even tried them for my hips.  They made me feel worse.  Masssage worked better for me.

Posts: 111
Joined: Jan 2018

My mother has major lymphoma due to other medical issues but not cancer.  Her legs are huge.  Before she was diagnosed with congestive heart disease her physical therapist (who specializes in lymphoma) did lymph node massages.  The swelling in her legs were dramatic.  There are some YouTube videos on performing self lymph node massages which I found informative.

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