There are big changes occurring every week in the field of lymphology. This is one of the reasons I love this field. I have to say, as much as I loved general geriatric and orthopedic rehab, things can get stale. My knee rehab protocol is pretty much the same as 20 years ago, so is my stroke rehab protocol.
In just the last five years, our lymphedema practice acts which describe our standards of care in this field, have changed and been updated many times. This is reflective of the new and exciting research coming out each month. We have new recommendations as far as weight lifting guidelines for patients at risk for lymphedema. New surgical options and recommendations for and against pneumatic compression as an adjunctive treatment are ever changing.
Now we have a new “Stage Zero” lymphedema stage that allows people at risk but not yet with symptoms to receive their preventative care that is so important in preventing lymphedema before it starts. This wasn’t available more than five years ago.
Stay on top of this field. If you are an experienced lymphedema therapist and haven’t been to an NLN meeting or other lymphedema continuing education conference in the last four years, GO! So many things have changed and improved. We are learning that more simplified MLD sequences are leading to better patient compliance and longer lasting outcomes. Bandaging materials are more compact and stay up better. Kinesio-taping is now a wonderful adjunctive tool. The best thing about advanced classes is the information and case studies we share, along with the wonderful out-of-the-box treatment ideas. Join us soon!