The lymphatic system plays an integral role within the body’s circulatory system, consisting of vessels and nodes. Fighting infection and balancing fluid levels in the tissues and other vessels are key components essential for well-being and preventing long-term chronic conditions. Failure of the lymphatic system leaves individuals with long-term chronic conditions which require regular input from a range of health professionals.
Oedema can be either Acute or Chronic. Acute oedema often occurs due to problems with the heart or other organs and consists mainly of water whereas chronic oedema which is as a result of the failure of the lymph system consists of some water but is rich in protein. Chronic oedema is an umbrella term which incorporates known conditions such as lymphoedema, lymphovenous oedema and dependency oedema, which arise when the lymphatic system fails. It needs to be recognised when lymph-stasis is present as it is this which indicates the failure of the lymphatic’s. Identifying lymph-stasis can be achieved following a holistic and comprehensive assessment to achieve a differential diagnosis. When chronic oedema affects an individual a number of problems can arise which challenge the daily activities of the sufferer, socially, physically and psychologically. Once the underlying cause of oedema is established/diagnosed, then the correct management regimen can be formulated.