Cambridge Centre for Lymphology and Feldenkrais

CCLF           Return to home page


Lymphoedema is a swelling caused by the retention of lymphatic fluid. Although more common in the legs or arms, it can occur in any part of the body.

Primary lymphoedema is caused by a deficient lymphatic system, which some people are born with. It often runs in families.

Secondary lymphoedema occurs when the lymphatic system has been damaged. This can happen following surgery, irradiation during treatment of cancer, injuries (falls, accidents), severe burns and rosacea.

Can you DO something about it? YES!

Although lymphoedema is a chronic condition, it need never develop seriously if treated early. Immediate treatment is always recommended. Keeping lymphoedema at its lowest possible level may require lifelong care.

Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) is an effective treatment that includes Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and compression. (CDT is also sometimes reffered to as 'DLT': Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy).

CDT Treatment:

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
  • Compression, either by bandaging for a while or by wearing sleeves or stockings
  • Skin care
  • Special excerises which will help reduce the swelling and ease you from stress
  • You are taught to give MLD to yourself
  • You will learn about the lymphatic system

What are the effects of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)?

The bars in the graph above show the decrease in the volume of the afflicted arm of a person with one-sided secondary lymphoedema before and after MLD treatment over a period of 14 days. Two volume measurements of the healthy arm are also shown (round points).

The reduction in volume over 14 days from the afflicted arm equates to an overall loss of 2.4 litres of fluid. There is always a small loss - in this case ~0.5 litres - of fluid from the unaffected arm.

Data from Tribe, K. (1995) Physiotherapy 81 (3): 154-156.

Your case history will be required from your GP before you come for treatment.

Call 07746 964151 or email us for more information.

  • What our Lymphoedema patients say...
  • An article published in Lymphline, the Lymphoedema Support Group magazine.

    Bupa recognised.

    Return to top of this page
    Return to home page

    Cambridge Centre for Lymphology and Feldenkrais (CCLF)
    283 Milton Road
    Cambridge CB4 1XQ, England

    Tel: 07746 964151

    © CCLF 2024. All Rights Reserved. All Trademarks Acknowledged.