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Effective treatment of edema with physiotherapy

What is Edema?

The human body consists of 2/3 water. This fluid is located in and around all body cells and blood, lymph and brain pathways. An infinite number of processes take place through this bodily fluid. Edema is an accumulation of fluid in the body and occurs, among other things, with (breast) cancer, blood vessel problems or scars Lymphedema can also be a result of radiation, chemotherapy, surgery or an accident. Elske Rahusen of Physiotherapy & Training Amsterdam treats patients who suffer from (lymph)edema. She works together with other specialists, such as oncologists or surgeons. Edema physiotherapist Elske is also specialized in oncology physiotherapy.

What does an edema physiotherapist do?

The edema physiotherapist stimulates the drainage of fluid. The physiotherapist does this in several ways:

    • Through exercise therapy. These can include general exercises and breathing exercises, as well as exercises that target muscles that function as a pump. Through these exercises, fluid is drained through the lymphatic and bloodstreams;
    • Bandages, tape and therapeutic stockings. This prevents moisture accumulation and ensures that the resulting situation remains stable;
    • Extra attention for skin care, scar treatment, materials and advice with which you can learn to keep control of the complaints yourself after the treatment period has ended;
    • By means of manual lymphatic drainage, according to the method of Vodder;

What is Lymphatic Drainage?

The edema physiotherapist stimulates the drainage of fluid. The physiotherapist does this in several ways:

In 1932, Dr. Emil Vodder, a Danish biologist, and his wife developed a revolutionary therapy for that time: manual lymphatic drainage according to the Vodder method.
The special feature of Dr. Vodder is that it is not only aimed at the draining effect of the lymphatic system, but especially at the nourishing and purifying effect
of all body fluids.

Manual lymphatic drainage according to the Vodder method is a gentle form of massage aimed at stimulating the lymphatic system. This stimulation can be applied to the entire body and is necessary to drain the excess fluid (visible and invisible edema) better or faster via the lymphatics. The water balance is directly influenced by the stimulation of the lymphatic system and indirectly by dampening the increased stress level in the body.

The treatment with manual lymphatic drainage consists of a number of massages. Then it is checked whether the treatment has helped sufficiently. If not, further research is needed.

Benjamin Bos

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