Clinical Experiences Using Pneumatic Massage Therapy for Edematous Limbs Over the Last 10 Years

Yamazaki, Zenya; Idezuki, Yasuo; Nemoto, Tetsu; Togawa, Tatsuo
February 1988
Angiology;Feb1988, Vol. 39 Issue 2, p154
Academic Journal
A pneumatic massage apparatus has been developed for the treatment of peripheral lymphedema. The stagnant lymph and venous blood are displaced toward the heart by this pneumatic massage. it has been applied to more than 650 patients with edematous limbs in the authors' Hadomer clinic over the last ten years. Satisfactory results were obtained, including decrease in swelling, pain, and induration. The authors' clinical experiences and statistical analysis of the patients are reported here. Statistical analysis: 9 primary (4 males and 5 females) and 646 secondary (28 males and 618 females) patients with lymphatic edema of extremities have been treated. The majority of the patients had postmastectomy edema of the upper extremity. Clinical studies: The circumference of the edematous limb was measured before and after pneumatic massage treatment of forty to sixty minutes, daily or every second day. Rate of swelling 100 = Circumference of the diseased limb / Circumference of the healthy limb at the initial diagnosis -1). The rate of swelling was calculated by the formula described above. Twenty-six cases, treated with pneumatic massage for more than fifteen months, have been investigated. A decrease in the rate of swelling was observed in 14 cases (54%), there was no change in 7(27%), and an increase was seen in 5 (19%). Electric impedance plethysmographic analysis of peripheral lymph volume and blood flow indicated that pneumatic mas- sage was effective in the treatment of edema of the limbs, and its effectiveness was confirmed also by core temperature measurement of the hand during pneumatic massage. The decreased circumference of the edematous limb was kept constant for a long period of time by daily repeated pneumatic massage and ordinary conservative treatments. In conclusion, most lymphedema is of a secondary type. Pneumatic massage was effective in the treatment of peripheral lymph edema, and the improvement was maintained by repeated daily pneumatic massage and ordinary conservative treatment. Therefore, before it becomes worse, lymphedema of the limb should be treated by use of conservative treatments, including pneumatic massage continued as a long-term schedule.


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