Decongestive Lymphatic Drainage (DLT) & Primary or Secondary Lymphoedema

What is DLT?

Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy is a specialised form of Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) specifically targeting lymphoedema. The objective of this therapy is to move the excess fluid away from the area and into another location in the body, where the lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes function. Decongestive lymphatic therapy can also be combined with a course of bandaging, compression garments or other devices to help reduce the swelling. When used in conjunction with skin care, bandaging and exercise, a drastic reduction in swelling can be achieved over time.



Lymphoedema is a chronic condition that develops due to a build-up of fluid in the body’s tissues, occurring when the lymphatic vessels or lymph nodes are damaged. As a result, swelling materialises anywhere in the body, most frequently in the arms or legs. The lymphatic system lacks the ability to drain away this excess fluid, leading to swelling of the area.


Understanding The Signs of Lymphoedema

The primary symptom of this condition is visible swelling in all or sections of your body. You may notice difficulty fitting into clothes, perhaps noticing jewellery and watches feeling unusually tight. This swelling may come and go, increasing in intensity during the day and subsiding overnight, however without seeking professional treatment it will become more severe and persistent.

Other symptoms in an affected body part can include:

  • An aching, heavy feeling
  • Difficulty with movement
  • Repeated skin infections
  • Hard, tight skin
  • Folds developing in the skin (more advanced condition)
  • Fluid leaking through the skin (more advanced condition)


Primary & Secondary Lymphoedema

Primary Lymphoedema is generally inherited and is a result of a change in genetic makeup. This can be unilateral or bilateral, however it has a positive response rate to MLD by removing the fluid from the limb due to specific movements. Massages applied to the area of swelling push the fluid towards an area where the vessels are patent with functioning lymph nodes.  

Secondary Lymphoedema is far more common and is a result of damage to the Lymph nodes and/or lymph vessels. A common cause of this is a response to cancer treatment. In cancer treatment the lymph nodes may have been removed in a particular area, damaging vessels and nodes due to radiation treatment. Other causes of secondary lymphoedema are infection, injury, inflammation of the limb or from a lack of limb movement.

If you find yourself experiencing the symptoms associated with either form of lymphoedema, you may be referred to a specialist centre such as my Northamptonshire decongestive lymphatic therapy clinic.


Managing Your Lymphoedema

My objective is to help control the main symptoms you may be suffering with and alleviate discomfort. Decongestive lymphatic therapy is a successful method of treating the swelling. Partnering this treatment with the use of compression garments, good skin care, bandaging the limb and gentle exercising can help you gain control of your lymphoedema. 

One of the serious complications of lymphoedema is cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection of the tissues. This requires urgent medical attention and treatment with antibiotics. Signs and symptoms of cellulitis are redness and heat in the skin, pain and increased swelling in the affected area, and a high temperature with chills. 


Get in Touch For Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy Northamptonshire

My specialist therapies can provide you with relief and over sessions you will be able to see and feel results. For medical advice and professional decongestive lymphatic therapy and massages in Northamptonshire, contact me today and I will be happy to help. 


Phone: 07411332510  | Email: 

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