FROM OUR EXPERTS
Q. I definitely want to avoid lymphedema. Is there anything I can do to ward it off, or is lymphedema totally random? A. The very best thing you can do to help prevent lymphedema is to make sure you get full range of motion back in your arm, whether after surgery or radiation. Favoring the arm on your affected side, hunching your shoulder protectively, being too stiff to stretch your arm up over your head and around towards your back–these are all things that will make it easier for lymphedema to gain a foothold. I have a friend who’s a physical therapist specializing in lymphedema treatment. In fact, we became close as she gave me daily massages to relieve my own swollen arm. (Just as getting a tummy tuck is the silver lining of a tram flap reconstruction, a daily massage is the big plus of having lymphedema!) This friend says that women who’ve had surgery, particularly a mastectomy with lymph node removal (even if just a single node) need physical thera...
Last month, the American Pain Society added to its recommendations to health care providers regarding the diagnosis and treatment of low back pain .
In addition, the Society decided to discuss openly procedures that could be risky to sufferers of low back pain, including recommendations on surgery and other invasive therapies.
Unfortunately, there is not a significant body of good evidence to justify unquestioningly embracing these new recommendations. It is difficult to find well-done clinical studies which support the use of a number of the more invasive treatments used for chronic low back pain.
The initial set of guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain were published in "Annals of Internal Medicine" last October. However, these recommendations dealt more with the initial evaluation of a low back pain patient, and included thoughts on what type of x-rays to order in addition to more conservative treatments such as massage/manipulation and exerci...
If you walk into any drug store, mega-box store or sporting goods store, you’ll be sure to find a variety of lumbar supports, back braces and alike. Because these devices are readily accessible, many users grab one off the self before seeking professional advice. That’s not necessarily a good idea because back braces offer a mixed bag of benefits and risks.
Now, strapping on an elastic lumbar support is tempting as a means to relieve pain and keep on going. And for the most part, these medical devices can help to accomplish that goal. The wrap-around support mimics the internal support that supposed to be provided by the abdominal muscles. Because many people have weak core muscles , the extra bracing does help sometimes. It’s probably most helpful in someone with disc degeneration as opposed to someone with lumbar stenosis . And it’s probably most helpful in average-weight individuals that don’t carry a lot of belly fat. Even if you don’t get ...
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