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12 lymph nodes were removed from under my left arm during my double mastectomy last year. Fortunately I do not have lymphedema so far. I would like to begin an exercise program, but a massage therapist told me that the wrong exercise could 'overload the lymph node system' and cause lymphedema. Is this correct? In any case, where can I find exercises that are not likely to cause lymphedema when so many lymph nodes have been removed? Thank you Kelly!
Thank you for your inquiry, and what a great question! Exercise is an integral part of keeping oneself healthy. Preventative measures are essential if ones lymphatic system has been compromised and has placed you at-risk to develop lymphedema. When exercising, or doing any activity that potentially puts you at risk, you want to take precautionary steps. Wearing a compression garment while exercising may be prudent and you should discuss this with your therapist. As to what types of exercises are appropriate, I am including a couple links to position papers written by The National Lymphedema Network (NLN) as well as attached our PreventionPlus pamphlet.
We would recommend printing out the position papers from the NLN as well as our pamphlet and schedule a time to discuss this with your therapist so an appropriate recommendation for your specific case can be determined.
NLN Exercise Information
NLN Risk Reduction Information
Thank you so much Kelly - I will read the information and act accordingly. God bless you for all that you do to help.
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