For those that love a great app, I have sourced two of the best for anyone who has developed arm swelling or lymphoedema.  A large part of our service provision for lymphoedema clients is education: about risks, skin care, and management of swelling.  These following apps can be a really great addition to clients lymphoedema management, particularly if you are regionally based and the frequency of review appointments is limited due to distance.

Lymphoedema is the accumulation of swelling that develops when the body’s normal lymphatic system has been compromised.  Lymph fluid builds up in the soft tissues, and can accumulate in areas such as the breast/chest, arms, groin, or legs.  Lymphoedema can occur after surgery when the lymph nodes are removed, or following radiation treatment.  Symptoms of lymphoedema can include swelling in the affected areas; feelings of heaviness, pain, aching or tightness in the affected areas, and clothing feeling tight around the affected area.  Early monitoring and management of lymphoedema is the key to success, and these apps below can help out.

Lymphtracker

This app allows clients to measure and track their limb measurements over time.  The data can be collected at scheduled times, with inbuilt reminders, and reports then forwarded to the treating therapist.   There is a small section that expands the meanings of lymphoedema, lymphatic drainage massage, and compression therapy.  The app asks the client to update their weight at each measure, and they can choose which limb they are recording. The only downfall is the weight measures are in pounds – so a little confusing for me to start with. 

Lymphoedema Breast Cancer App

This app really is fantastic.  Not only does it help you track and monitor your measurements over time, but it provides an abundance of education .  The app covers tips and tricks for reducing your risks, including skin care management, avoiding constrictions, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and travel precautions.   When it comes to measuring, the app shows a video of how to measure the affected limb, and has an area where clients can save their measurements, and compare with previous measures.  This app is a one stop shop for any client following breast cancer surgery.  

If you have arm swelling or lymphoedema and are interested in using these apps at home to help monitor your progress, talk to your therapist about how this can assist in your treatment plan and goals.  A team approach is a great way to see amazing results, and as therapists, we encourage people to be involved in their treatment.