Watch for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, increased skin temperature, or pain. Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of these signs, or if you have a fever.
Traditional MassageAvoid traditional massage “kneading” techniques such as deep tissue, petrissage, tapotement, or friction, which are not recommended to manage lymphedema. The word massage is frequently misused to describe the techniques of manual lymph drainage (MLD). MLD does not include any kneading elements in its strokes and has absolutely nothing in common with traditional massage techniques. Traditional massage can have major negative effects on lymphedema, including active hyperemia, which results in more water accumulating in the interstitial spaces, and overloading an already stressed or impaired lymphatic system, causing additional damage to the lymph vessels.
Avoid thermo therapy which may include ice, heat, thermal ultrasound, hydrotherapy (hot packs), saunas, contrast baths, and paraffin, which are all contraindicated for the affected limb in lymphedema management. These thermo therapy modalities will cause vasodilation, and in turn will increase the lymphatic load of water.