Lipoedema is a condition with two aspects:
- abnormal deposits of fatty tissue (sometimes called cellulite)
- edema (swelling or fluid retention)
With lipoedema, the lower extremities (legs, hips, buttocks) that are noticeably larger/heavier/out of proportion to the upper body. It can be limited to the thighs, hips and buttocks or there can be swelling all the way down the leg.
There is usually some form of cellulite tissue, particularly in the outer thighs and inner knee. Lipoedema can also appear as very loose, ‘watery’ tissue.
It has two main characteristics that help to differentiate it from lymphoedema:
• The feet do not swell, which creates a “cuff” around the ankle.
• With lipoedema, the tissues are painful, sometimes even with very slight pressure. They also bruise very easily.
While lipoedema cannot be cured, there are strategies for managing it, including:
- specialised compression clothing
- learning how to apply compression bandaging for pain relief and fluid reduction
- lipoedema-specific exercise
- advice on minimising hormonal and inflammatory impacts in your everyday environment.
- addressing cellulite (a part of the lipoedema profile)
What to do: If you think you may have lipoedema, call or text to make an appointment.
The initial session will consist of an assessment and MLD treatment. The therapist will also explain and demonstrate some of the strategies described above. Thereafter, appointments will be arranged as required (every few weeks or so) to monitor and aid you in your progress as you learn to manage your condition.