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Lymphatic massage

(18 Posts)
Stoker48 Sun 31-May-20 13:02:29

Couple years ago whilst having a massage in hotel in India, the therapist said I had fluid retention in my legs and should return to her for course of lymphatic massage.
My lower legs are a little fleshy but they have never been a thing of beauty. I thought perhaps it may have been her way of drumming up custom!
However, whilst out on my walk yesterday I saw an ex partner who said “Your legs have gone wider towards the bottom. I’m sure you’d rather me tell you”.
I’m very slim. 5 foot tall, weigh about 7 stone 7 pounds.
Now I can’t stop looking at them!!!
Has anyone else suffered from this and did the lymphatic massage help?
I assume I’ll need to go to doctor to get assessed. Not sure what symptoms I should be looking for myself. Seems rather unimportant in present climate but if I can help myself, I’d like to.
Thanks smile

humptydumpty Sun 31-May-20 13:11:01

Why not email your GP with a picture of your ankles now (and before if possible) and report what your friend said, and ask for advice?

Lizbethann55 Sun 31-May-20 13:25:31

Can't believe I have just seen this as I, too, am a sufferer. It sounds like you have lymphoedema. I have it in my right foot and ankle. If you are like me you will get little support from your gp or NHS. I ended up self diagnosing and telling my gp what I thought was wrong. It is caused by a malfunction of your lymph system. Lots of people have it after chemotherapy. Some after plastic surgery. Somexafter an injury, even years after. Some are just unlucky. There is no cure sadly. It can be treated to try and keep it in check. Usually by wearing comprehension socks . Also a very specialised form of massage called MLD. It will be worse when the weather is hot. Tell your GP you need a doppler scan and to be measured and prescribed compression socks. The district nurse does mine. Not very good at posting links but look up also lymphoedema support network . For therapists try . If you get lymphoedema as a result of cancer treatment you may be able to get mld on the nhs. Otherwise you may find that, like me, you have to fund it yourself. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Welshwife Sun 31-May-20 13:54:58

I have water retention after chemo - mainly visible in my ankles but have been given Furosemide which means for a few hours afterwards I cannot go too far from a loo! If we are going out I do not take it and if possible take it when I get home.

Floradora9 Sun 31-May-20 14:25:41

Be careful of massage if you have had cancer. I was told never to have deep massage near to my left breast where I had cancer. There was no time limit on this .

Lizbethann55 Sun 31-May-20 15:12:38

floradora9 that is why it is so important to seek the advice of a specialist and not just look up "lymphatic drainage" massage. I am lucky not to have had cancer but the MLD therapist I had specialised in MLD for cancer patients and actually held clinics at the local hospice. Proper MLD is not remotely deep. In fact I was amazed at how gentle and near the surface it was. I hope you have fully recovered.

Grannynannywanny Sun 31-May-20 15:30:27

Some of us are inclined to experience a bit of fluid retention as we get older. Speak to your GP when you can for a reassuring chat. A small dose diuretic might be needed.

It might be helpful when sitting to raise your feet and legs on a footstool to encourage the fluid to drain away.

I know a couple of my friends who experience fluid retention find it more evident in hot weather. Which could explain why it was picked up in India and why you are more aware of it currently.

I’m sure your GP will put your mind at rest.

EllanVannin Sun 31-May-20 17:35:33

This happens to lots of people when it's hot. My feet are swollen but I'm not too concerned because they've done this since the '70's. In those days I was just given diuretics to get rid of excess fluid as and when needed and not as a regular thing.

Only the feet are affected but when it goes beyond the ankles it's time for a GP visit.

PamelaJ1 Sun 31-May-20 17:54:47

Floradora, lymphatic drainage massage is a specialised, very light technique.

Stoker48 Sun 31-May-20 18:34:11

What lovely, friendly, supportive responses. Thank you! I’ll check out all your advice.
Three further questions. Does it just get worse and worse? If you wear the compression socks ( stockings?) is that 24/7 and finally has anyone tried natural remedys? I’m thinking dandelions etc.
Cheers, all

downtoearth Sun 31-May-20 18:51:05

Just a thought Stoker,some medications for BP can cause swollen feet and ankles particularly when it is warm.

Could this be the case for you Amlodipine is well known for this .

Stoker48 Sun 31-May-20 23:05:35

Thank you, downtoearth. No, I’m really lucky. Age nearly 67 and I dont take any medicines, no health conditions that I’m aware of. Really active - always on the go!

downtoearth Mon 01-Jun-20 09:09:24

Hope you find the answer soon Stokersmile

JodiWest Mon 15-Jun-20 16:37:55

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MerylStreep Mon 15-Jun-20 16:44:13

Your a liar, aren't you?

PamelaJ1 Mon 15-Jun-20 17:36:14

Stoker, I went to a seminar a few years ago that was given by a practitioner who worked with cancer patients as part of their treatment. She was linked to a hospital in London. I can’t remember which one. Have you made enquiries at your surgery?
Genetics also play a large part, have a look at your relatives.

Charleygirl5 Mon 15-Jun-20 19:08:20

I have lymphoedema in both legs following surgery in one ankle but it manifested many years later.

In normal times I go to a clinic and have compression stockings measured and I wear them during daylight hours. I am supposed to wear lighter ones during sleep times but I
have been rather amiss.

There is no cure and it does get worse. There is a machine which can reduce the swelling temporarily but if one has had joint replacements it should not be used because it can slowly loosen the cement.

FoghornLeghorn Tue 16-Jun-20 23:37:47

Hi Stoker. Before I retired I managed a cancer support centre that treated lymphoedema. Treatment on the NHS is very patchy and in my experience, even if you find an NHS clinic they will probably be limited in how long/frequently they can see you for.

Your best bet, if you can afford it, and it isn’t cheap, is to see a private practitioner. You can find one local to you on
You can be assured that any practitioner on this website will be appropriately trained.

Natural remedies/prescribed medication will not help lymphoedema as the excess fluid is trapped. Some GPs misguidedly prescribe diuretics which won’t help and may have an adverse effect.

A lymphoedema practitioner can measure you for and fit compression garments. These should be worn during the day and taken off at bedtime.

S/he should also be able to teach you simple lymphatic drainage massage that you can undertake yourself. If you have lymphoedema you should avoid massage by unqualified (in lymphoedema) people ie. at a spa, Turkish baths/saunas.

You need to do your best to keep the skin on the affected limb intact, so if it’s your arm, gardening gloves, oven gloves should be worn when necessary. If you have a cut or a scratch watch out for signs of infection and anti-biotics at the first sign.

And please don’t let your HCP give you your flu jab or any other sort of vaccine in the affected limb.

Hope that all helps you. Best wishes.