Lymphoedema patients should demand exercise classes

A common utility bicycle
Riding a bike is good exercise  Wikipedia


Dr. Jacqueline Todd’s recent talk on Lymphoedema to the Lymphoedema Support Network was packed out.  She kept her audience interested for over 90 minutes, and they were still asking questions when she had to leave.

During her talk she gave out tips

  • Use slow stretches
  • Suitable exercise is good for us
  • Get to know your body and build up exercise gradually
  • Remember PPB – Position, Posture and Breathing
  • Change position frequently, and never sit in same position for any length of time
  • Combine rest and exercise
  • Try to rest with swollen limb higher than the heart, using gravity for draining
  • Important to wear compression garment when exercising
  • Cycling is good exercise
  • So is diving – tight wet suits act like a compression bandage and improve the effect

But if cellulitis appears

  • Treat with anti-biotics
  • Rest – don’t exercise
  • Don’t wear garment

She then showed us a video of the exercise class run at Leeds, and said if we wanted the same it was up to  us to ask the Chief Executive of the hospital where we were treated to start one up.  Ginger up our doctor to do something, and keep on at them.

Most hospitals have the appropriate exercise equipment in their physiotherapy department, but this often lies idle for much of the week.  Lobby for a physio to run a class, and keep on and on.  The Dept. Health constantly repeats the mantra that we have to exercise to combat obesity – so take them at their word and DEMAND exercise classes.  We only have our swellings to lose!

And let Jacqueline know what you are doing.  Contact her via:-

Lymphoedema Support Network, St. Luke’s Crypt, Sydney Street, London, SW3 6NH
020 7351 0990


Dr. Todd would welcome your help with Lymphoedema Research, if you have lymphoedema following cancer or its treatment.

She says  “we are hoping to gain insight into all sorts of experiences – you do not need to have personally experienced social difficulty or appearance concerns to take part.  The main aim is to identify the nature of social difficulty, avoidance and reaction to visible difference in people with lymphoedema after cancer. There are different ways that you can take part that can take an hour or a full day. You will not incur any expense if you want to take part”.

The research is due to start in January 2010, and if you would like to register your interest please email your details to
or you can write to :
Dr Jacquelyne Todd,  Lymphoedema Department, Wharfedale Hospital, Newall Carr Road, Otley, West Yorks

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One thought on “Lymphoedema patients should demand exercise classes

  1. mercy posso November 18, 2009 at 8:57 pm Reply

    I have suffered with lymphoedema for the past 4 1/2 years after having a mastectomy and 13 lymph nodes removed. One was microscopically infected. Since then I have had trouble with my arm. I wear a sleeve and twice a year I have 3 sessions of bandaging. I also suffered with cellulitis and was on prophilactic treatment for a year.

    So I would be interested in receiving any advice which will be beneficial to me.


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