Patients, carers and medical professionals are stepping into action next week (September 16-23) to raise awareness of the little-known condition which causes painful swelling and loss of mobility in limbs, but can be treated and managed to improve quality of life.
During Lymphoedema Awareness Week (16-23 September), patients, as well as family and friends will be ‘stepping into action’ equipped with pedometers.
They aim to collectively achieve one million steps – equivalent to a 500 mile walk – as walking is one way to alleviate the condition.
The action week is being organised by West Suffolk GP organisation Partners in Practice (PIPS) which offers a treatment programme for lymphoedema that is already benefitting one man from Haverhill.
Colin Spalding, who describes the condition as ‘soul destroying’, said it had been troubling him for a couple of years and although he was attending a clinic for bandaging twice a week, he says he ‘was going nowhere fast’ with making any improvement.
Within a few weeks of starting the treatment, Colin, 71, could see the difference it was making.
He said: “When the therapist said they’d help get rid of the swelling by using a special type of bandage and regular specialist massage techniques I was initially sceptical, but within a month of treatment it had really helped to get rid of the fluid from my lower limbs and reduce the swelling.”
Colin, who has lost three stone on the programme, added: “Despite my underlying health problems, for which there is not a great deal of treatment, I am now more agile than I used to be.
“My whole body has changed and my confidence has gone up as a result. If I hadn’t had the support from the lymphoedema service I’d be back where I was 18 months ago.”