Exercises for Lymphoedema

Exercise is important in managing Lymphoedema. The lymphatic system needs muscle pump action for the fluid to move through the vessels and up to the lymph nodes. This will also help maintain and healthy weight which can also reduce the swelling.

Exercise for the lymphatic system does not have to be fast or vigorous. These can be done sat down and done slowly. Simple exercise can play a big part in helping to manage swelling.

It is important to stop the exercises if the area becomes painful, this can be a sign that you have done too much.

Regular exercise will also make you feel healthier and can often help reduce stress and anxiety levels.

You can use the affected limb in daily activities just take care and monitor for signs of anything that may cause muscle strain such as carrying heavy objects. If starting new exercise, always start lightly and build your tolerance up slowly.

    This video provides information on upper body exercises to do for managing lymphoedema.

    You must let your lymphoedema specialist know if your swelling increased and becomes more uncomfortable during exercise.

    Examples of exercises can be: -

    • Swimming
    • Walking
    • Pilates/yoga
    • Regular stretching exercises

    The following videos are from Cancer Research UK on managing Lympoedema with exercises