Lymphedema treatment decreases pain intensity in lipedema.
PUBLICATION: G. Szolnoky, E. Varga, M. Varga, M. Tuczai, E. Dósa-Rácz, L. Kemény. (2011) Lymphology, Dec;44(4), 178-82.
STUDY SIZE: 38 patients
Lipedema is a disproportional obesity featuring light pressure-induced or spontaneous pain. On the basis of our clinical observations, lymphedema therapy, as practiced in our clinic, reduces the perception of pain beyond leg volume reduction. We therefore aimed to measure pain intensity prior and subsequent to treatment. Thirty-eight women with lipedema were enrolled in the study with 19 patients undergoing treatment and 19 serving as the control group using exclusively moisturizers. Treatment consisted of once daily manual lymph drainage (MLD), intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC), and multilayered short-stretch bandaging performed throughout a 5-day course. Pain was evaluated with a 10-item questionnaire, a pain rating scale (PRS), and the Wong-Baker Faces scale. Treatment resulted in a significant reduction of pain with a decrease in mean scores of all three measures. In the control group, only PRS showed significant decrease.
RESULTS: This treatment regimen not only reduces leg volume and capillary fragility, but also reduces pain intensity in patients with lipedema.