For years, Linton Therapy Clinic has been operating in Arklow, providing a wide range of complementary and Medical treatments. We are located at Sheltonville House Surgery, 15 Ferrybank, Arklow, Co. Wicklow.
The range of treatments includes, Sports Injury and rehabilitation treatments, Holistic Massage, Reflexology and Pregnancy Massage to name but a few. These treatments can be very beneficial to a wide range of medical conditions and in conjunction with standard medical treatment can provide considerable therapeutic benefits.
The staff of Linton Therapy Clinic have specific diploma qualifications in Pregnancy Massage, allowing us to deal effectively with pelvic conditions such as Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD).
We also offer Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy which is the only medical treatment recommended for Lymphoedema, (which is swelling in the arm or leg, generally after cancer treatment) this involves bandaging the limb, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), skin care and lymph stimulating exercise programme.
This medical condition is an accumulation of protein rich fluid in the tissues below the skin. This oedema or swelling occurs when lymph fluid cannot drain away. This condition should be treated by a medically trained Clinical Specialist in Lymphoedema
What is lymph ?
The lymphatic system is made up of organs such as the tonsils and spleen and a network of nodes and lymph vessels which extends throughout the body.
There is a continuous flow of fluid within our bodies. It passes from the blood in the body tissues and from here into the Lymphatic system. Here the fluid is filtered through the lymph nodes before it is returned to the bloodstream. This constant flow balances the amount of fluid in different parts of the body. When this flow is out of balance, there is a build up of protein rich fluid which is Lymphoedema.
Some of the signs and symptoms of Lymphoedema include feeling of stiffness in affected areas, slight to severe swelling, sensation of tightness, fullness or heaviness in the affected area.
Lymphoedema manifests itself as a ‘discomfort to aching’ swelling.
What causes Lymphoedema ?
There are two types of Lymphoedema, Primary and Secondary
Primary Lymphoedema usually happens because the lymph vessels have not developed properly. When there is no obvious cause for Lymphoedema it is classed as Primary.
Secondary Lymphoedema is when there is an external cause. It may appear when lymph nodes or vessels have been damaged.
Here are some examples of why Secondary Lymphoedema occurs:
- Cancer or cancer treatment, when lymph nodes are removed or radiotherapy to the lymph nodes
- Infection of the skin and / or tissues that damage the lymphatics
- Poor blood drainage through veins
- Inability to exercise or move a limb
Can Lymphoedema be treated?
Lymphoedema is a non curable condition, but it can be treated and managed. The most successful treatment is Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
There are numerous names for this therapy including, Combined Physical Therapy (CPT)Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy (DLT) Complex Decongestive Physiotherapy (CDP)
All of these names describe the same treatment which consists of Two phases, The Intensive phase and the Self Care Phase.
Phase 1, Intensive Phase
Meticulous skin and nail care to avoid fungal and other types of skin infections such as Cellulitis. The protein rich fluid is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria etc.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage, this special type of massage moves and redirects lymph flow around affected areas into healthy areas which helps to decongest the area.
Compression Bandages are used daily, resulting in a dramatic reduction of limb volume. The bandages reduce filtration at the arterial end of the blood capillary.
Exercise is performed with the bandages in place as bandages improve the efficiency of the muscle and joint pump. Exercises include stretching and diaphragmatic breathing. Exercise increases the lymphatic return, increases lymph vessel activity therefore helps fluid to be absorbed and dealt with by the body.
Points to Note
Unfortunately there are few Certified Lymphoedema therapists in Ireland. It is a specialised area and should only be dealt with by Healthcare providers who are fully qualified Lymphoedema practitioners.
Phase 2, Self Care Phase
- Compression Garments / Bandages to be worn day / night
- Meticulous skin and nail care to prevent infection
- Exercise daily
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage
- Follow up visits
With damaged or blocked Lymphatic drainage, you are always at risk of infection which could lead to cellulitis in the affected limb, therefore always observe the following
Avoid Use Cuts Gloves when washing up Scratches Gardening gloves, thimble when sewing Burns Use oven gloves Sunburn Complete sun block Insect Bites Insect repellents Fungal Infection Good Hygiene and skincare Razors Depilatory creams
In Affected Limb / Area
- Never allow anyone to take bloods or give vaccines in affected limb, use the non affected limb as it can easily cause an acute inflammatory process.
- Avoid blood pressure readings on affected limb
- Avoid tight or restrictive clothing or jewellery
- Avoid extremes of heat or cold such as saunas, steamrooms or Jacuzzis
Lymphoedema is something that can be well managed providing the patient fully co operates and adheres to both Phase 1 and 2.
One of the cornerstones of treating Lymphoedema is Manual Lymphatic Drainage(MLD). However MLD is a treatment in its own right, focused on other conditions.
There are very few absolute contraindications to Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) therefore it can be used in treatments of many pathologies. It can be used in a potent way to activate the lymphatic system especially when the transport capacity is reduced because of surgery, scar tissue or trauma.
- Post trauma swelling e.g. sprain, whiplash, hematoma
- Post surgical swelling e.g. facelift, liposuction, breast reduction or augmentation, Joint replacement surgery.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
- Fibrocystic Breast Disease
- Migraine / Sinus headaches
- Palliative care
- Pain Control / General relaxation
- Detoxification / Enhanced Immune Function
Many people use reflexology as a way of relaxing the mind and the body and counteracting stress.
This is one of the most popular referrals from doctors. Our Registered Reflexologist works on specific points on the feet, which has been shown to be effective for:
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Back Pain
- Sleep Disorders
- Stress-related conditions.
The typical injuries that we see in the clinic are as follows:
• From Footballers and Martial Arts enthusiasts: pulled hamstrings, groin strains, damaged knee and ankle ligaments, overused and overtired aching legs.
• From Golfers and keen Gardeners: normally injury their neck, shoulders and low back, golfers elbow and tennis elbow.
• From office people who tend to hold the phone up to their ear with their shoulder while typing: tend to have taut/ stiff necks and shoulder complaints often resulting in headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strains.
• From Walkers and Runners: runners knee, shin splints and Achilles tendinitis.
What is Sports Massage?
Sports Massage is a special form of massage and is typically used before, after and during an athletic event e.g. Football, Running, Tennis, Golf, Martial Arts etc
During hard training or performance there will be an accumulation of waste material and possibly micro trauma with slight swelling in the muscles, the tissues will be nutritionally depleted and maybe in need of repair. Sports Massage stimulates the blood circulation so all these situations can be helped.
Pre Event sessions will warm the muscles up, ensuring oxygen rich and nutrient rich blood supply gets to the muscles preparing them for the event. This increases your stamina and performance level.
Post Event sessions removes the build up of lactic acid from the muscles which prevents cramping, allowing the muscles to return to a healthier balanced state.
To help continue playing the sport you love and to get the most from your muscles, It makes sense to have sports massage.
Member of the Irish Massage Therapists Assoc., National Register of Reflexologists, Member of MLD Ireland