re: kinesiotaping--I have heard great things about it too! Just haven't tried it yet. I am getting ready to buy some new wraps, though. I am tired of the multiple layers I have to use to bandage, so I will be trying this: : Ready Made/Quick Ship Full Arm Spiral Wrap JoViPak® Home Page
This should be MUCH easier on me since I have to wrap BOTH arms.
I have just started a formal workout program at a local fitness center. I wear my sleeves & also something called Under Armor "turfgear" http://www.underarmour.com/ua2/ua/gear.asp?dept%5Fid=3 from the sporting goods store. I bought a size smaller than I would wear in real life. It is a very stretchy lycra-type longsleeved top that I wear under my Tshirt. I have some lymphedema in my chest, upper back & torso & this seems to help it while I exercise.
I have been focusing on repetitions, rather than WEIGHT. I use machines set at 10-15 lbs and work on my arms, chest & back. I have actually noticed a REDUCTION in my swelling since doing this, but ONLY while wearing my sleeves. I don't dare try it without, since even vacuuming & gardening (when my arms are lower than my body) wreak havoc on my LE.
If you do NOT currently have lymphedema (LE), you need what is called a "Class I compression sleeve." This has less compression than a class II or class III. The way the doc would write the prescription is:
_____ arm, wrist to armpit
Class I compression sleeve
Diagnosis: 457.0 post-mastectomy lymphedema
If you already DO have swelling, the prescription would be the same, EXCEPT it should say Class II compression sleeve.
If your hand or fingers are swollen, the doc should also add a "gauntlet" (which is a partial glove WITHOUT fingers--just covers your palm & back of your hand to where your fingers start)
If you prefer, the doc could write for a "glove" instead. This is a compression garment that pulls on like a glove, but the fingers are cut out--and only go the first or 2nd knuckle.
I would recommend going to a medical supply house that has a Women's section, specializing in mastectomy products. They can measure you. If your arm is a "standard" size, you can usually get an off-the-shelf sleeve. If your arm is weird, like mine, you will need a special order. My upper arm is disproportionately larger than my forearm (always has been--that is just ME lol)
Hope this helps. If you need further info, you might want to check out my lymphedema page and links page on my BC website. http://pages.ivillage.com/mikki630
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