Discovering Deep Oscillation for Lipo-Lymphoedema
Please take some time out to read this important article. Jill developed symptoms at 12 years of age but was not diagnosed until she was 71.
Jill, aged 79, lives with several long-term health conditions, one of which is Stage 4-5 Lipo-Lymphoedema and for the last few years she has been able to help manage her symptoms with a Deep Oscillation Personal Sports unit in the comfort of her own home.
Jill has also found the therapy beneficial in other 'unexpected areas' too, which she briefly explains later in this article.
The first signs of Lipoedema were visible at age 12, and yet despite numerous GP appointments and recommended diets over the years, she was not formally diagnosed until the age of 71, living almost 60 years without a diagnosis.
Lipoedema was first written about in 1940 by Allen & Hines. The below abstract (1) from 2016 describes the common misdiagnosis of the condition..
Despite the lack of diagnosis, this remarkable lady would not be determined by her legs. With a huge zest for life, she has had a very successful career as a Midwife, a long and happy marriage and two children, now grown up and flourishing.
Her story starts with the recent successful use of the therapy in bruising following a fall:
"I tipped out of my rise and recline chair a week ago and caught my leg causing a large, painful bruise. I live with Lipo-Lymphoedema and one of the symptoms is that I bruise easily. I had sustained bruising to the front and rear of my thigh. After applying an ointment specifically produced for reducing bruising, I waited a couple of days with not much improvement.
I contacted Mary at PhysioPod who suggested that I try the haematoma/bruising programme on my unit (above) and to start as soon as possible with the large applicator, this I did, twice a day. There was a marked improvement within 12 hours. After 5 days, I could hardly see any bruising and the pain from the bruise disappeared almost immediately following the second treatment.
PhysioPod, astounded with the result, asked Dr Jens Reinhold of Physiomed Elektromedizin AG for his comments:
"The history of this lady, now aged 79, has been known to me for several years. Her use of the Deep Oscillation Personal for later stage Lipo-Lymphoedema, Dercums Disease and other conditions have been well documented. The lady also takes a daily low dose anti-platelet medication since suffering a stroke in 2003. Due to her long-term health conditions, reduced mobility and advancing years, it is not surprising that falls have become more frequent.
The recent fall resulted in a wide and painful contusion and PhysioPod helpfully suggested that the haematoma/bruising programme could be effective for management of this injury. The results of the treatments are impressive, since all of her conditions further increase the tendency for easy traumatisation (1-3) and this constellation usually also results in slower haematoma/bruising resorption with sustained pain.
The Deep Oscillation treatments started in the acute phase. The rate of recovery in just a few days with regard to pain reduction and visible resorption of the haematoma/bruising are excellent. Personally, I am not surprised by the results because of the clinically proven effects of Deep Oscillation (4). I also asked the opinion of our UK colleague, Christine Talbot, a Nurse and MLD DLT Lymphoedema Practitioner who works with the therapy who remarked:
"This lovely elderly lady has a long term history and many years of anti coagulant medication, I think she has been so fortunate to be able to utilise deep oscillation therapy immediately. I am in no doubt having treated similar cases with deep oscillation the effects of this remarkable therapy preventing any further deterioration and chronic ulceration, which so often occurs from the simplest of bruising in fragile, vulnerable patients’.
How did Jill discover Deep Oscillation for Lipo-Lymphoedema?
"After several months of researching online, chatting to others and both email and telephone conversing with Mary and Julie of PhysioPod who I met at The Talk Lipoedema Conference in 2015, they came to visit us at home and did a long demonstration on my husband and myself, giving us guidance on using the unit - which is a simple and well put together device (we also had a lot of fun in the process too!). The PhysioPod, which we purchased, is the best thing ever. I use it every other day, mostly on my legs with the extra long handles we purchased; it really helps the pain in my legs and on my arms too, which now have Lipoedema"
The Early Years..
Jill was born in 1941, a year after Lipoedema was first was described by Allen & Hines "Lipedema of the legs: a syndrome characterized by fat legs and orthostatic edema" - It was not until 2012 the condition was formally recognised by the NHS.
"At the age of 12, I began to gain weight on my legs and hips, and at school I became known as ‘blubber legs”. Obviously this was very distressing but I learned to cope with the name-calling. My mother put me on a diet, but in those days there was little knowledge of diets, as we know them today. Of course this didn't work and my legs just got bigger. I also began to suffer pain and thought everyone had painful legs. My Grandmother on my Fathers side had very large painful legs and flinched if we touched them, so I thought this was the norm. By the age of 14, my thighs rubbed together so much that they became excoriated and bled. My Mum used to put Snowfire on them, which smelt awful and didn't work. Walking was a nightmare."
From 6 months ward trial to being awarded ‘Best All-Round Nurse prize” and to delivering 2800 babies!
"I was determined to become a Nurse and applied at the local college to do a pre-nursing course, which I completed and then applied at Preston Royal Infirmary to become a State Registered Nurse (SRN). The Matron was convinced I wouldn't be able to cope with the busy wards so put me on a six-month trial. I am a very strong, determined person so was convinced I would finish the course and so I did. I actually won the best all-round Nurse prize, much to my Mums delight. Following this I then did midwifery training in London and Oxford and remained in Oxford as a Community Midwife for 11 years. I met and married my wonderful husband David, who wasn't phased by my legs and we went on to have two beautiful boys. I transferred after my eldest was born to the John Radcliffe Hospital where I worked with high-risk mothers for 27 years. In my time as a Midwife, I delivered 2800 babies, the eldest of those now 52 and many of those babies I delivered now have grandchildren of their own! It was a long, happy and very rewarding career."
The onset of ill health, followed by the correct diagnosis of Stage 4-5 Lipoedema; some 60 years after it developed
"Unfortunately, in 2003, I had a stroke, which rendered me unable to work, so I retired in 2004, after a year off sick. Apparently my diabetes had brought on the stroke and an inappropriate diet advised by Doctors. Over the years, I had been given so many diet sheets I could have papered the walls with them and they were all useless. I was fairly sedentary after the stroke and gained a lot of weight. We moved to a bungalow in Norfolk, as I couldn't by then walk up the stairs. It was in Norfolk in 2012 that I was diagnosed with Lipoedema by my Lymphoedema Nurse which was confirmed by my GP. I had never heard of Lipoedema and few doctors knew/know anything about it. Apparently I am Stage 4 to 5, which is very advanced."
Talk Lipoedema – help was at hand and so gratefully received...
"After diagnosis, I joined a Facebook group called Talk Lipoedema and this group has been my Lifeline. I have met so many wonderfully supportive ladies, all sharing our experiences of this under-diagnosed disease. It was through this group that I attended a Lipoedema conference in Birmingham and was lucky to be picked for the fashion show which was organized by Cara Jones a trustee of Talk Lipoedema and Nina Blakemore the TV presenter and plus size model (herself a lipoedema sufferer) - it was great fun. At the Conference, I met Mary and Julie of PhysioPod fame. Over dinner we discussed many things, and they chatted about how Deep Oscillation and of the relief it can provide with pain, swelling and bruising and as the pain in my by now, extremely large legs was getting so much worse, we arranged for them to visit me in my home later in the year."
"Meanwhile, after much help and discussion with members of Talk Lipoedema and with advice from Lynn Chattam, a fellow member (and now a great friend), I adopted a Low Carbohydrate/High Fat way of eating and in two years, I lost 108 lbs in total, improving my diabetes, reducing my blood sugars and my insulin doses. Mary at PhysioPod asked if Lynn would like to comment on this, she said: "I had been low carbing very successfully for some years when Jill asked me about it. I pointed her in the direction of 'The Diet Doctor', which fully explains the science behind the low carb, high fat way of life. It worked wonders for her and she looks amazing. I can't take any credit however, as I merely pointed Jill in the direction. She is a very focused and determined lady and I applaud her for her dedication"
Routines that have helped over the years to manage Lipoedema
- Walking with the help of my carer
- A daily multi-vitamin
- Dry brushing
- Vibro plate
- Wearing Compression - re-measured every six months by my fantastic Lymphoedema Nurse
- Aqueous cream applied to skin three times a week.
- MLD with Tara Haines
I have not tried Kinesio taping or Lymphatic yoga but I know some ladies find this helpful too"
Jill has found other benefits of Deep Oscillation over the years:
"For Dercum's Disease - tumours (non-malignant lipomas which are fatty tissue with multiple blood vessels, which get very painful). I like the tingling sensation when using the unit as its very soothing, especially on the tight painful areas and on the lipomas. Afterwards my skin feels less tight and the pain in the lipomas is less for a couple of hours. A dislocated thumb which was swollen, bruised and painful. My joints feel more comfortable and it seems the joints are less hyper-mobile. I haven't had so many thumb dislocations either since using the unit on them. I have hyper mobile thumbs, which can dislocate easily. I have also used on a painful frozen shoulder to good effect.
"I had begun to notice pain, stiffness and swelling in the fingers of both hands, plus the knuckles of my right hand. As I do multiple crafts I really need my hands. Recently I have developed some nodules on my finger joints, so I spoke to my Doctor who diagnosed Osteoarthritis. Though recommended, I thought an x-ray was unnecessary because it was in the early stages and might not progress. I already take pain medication for Lipo-Lymphoedema and I cannot take anti-inflammatories because they bring on asthma attacks, exercises were recommended but some days I was really struggling to do my stitching or knitting as my hands were so sore. Suddenly I had a moment on inspiration, maybe my Deep Oscillation Personal could help? I started to use it on the trauma programme with the small applicator and this worked best for me. The treatment reduced pain and increased movement in my hands. I think this information will help fellow multi-crafters who may be struggling with OA. Deep Oscillation is non-invasive and effective, more people need to know about it."
DEEP OSCILLATION Therapy Information & Clinical Effect
DEEP OSCILLATION® is a unique, patented treatment method. Its special structure allows the practitioner (or patient) to create biologically effective oscillations in the treated tissue using electrostatic attraction and friction via vinyl gloves or special applicator.
In contrast to other therapies, these pleasant oscillations have a gentle and deep-acting effect on all tissue components to a clinically proven depth of 8cm (skin, connective tissue, muscles, blood and lymph vessels).
PhysioPod first learned of the benefits of Deep Oscillation in 2009 for Lipo-Lymphoedema when Lynora Kennedy MLD DLT Lymphoedema Therapist wrote:
"I became very excited after working on a client who has Lipo-Lymphoedema. As many MLD therapists will know, this condition can be exasperating, not just for the client, but for the therapist too, as improvement in the condition can take a long time. I have been seeing Mrs M for some years, doing twice yearly 10 day DLT treatments as well as monthly treatments. She is very compliant, and keeps the bandaging on between the daily DLT appointments. The results have been OK, but nothing outstanding - until I used the HIVAMAT® 200 (Deep Oscillation). I wouldn't go so far as to say it 'revolutionised' her treatment, but something pretty close! She enjoyed the treatment immensely, and found it profoundly relaxing (she has a very stressful job and is carer for a family member, so physically tired most of the time). The volume loss was quite spectacular for lipo-lymphoedema and she was able to go into over the counter compression tights for the first time in about 25 years. This is maintaining, 15 months on from the first HIVAMAT® 200 treatment. I see her every 3rd week, and have managed one 10 day DLT session with her this year - volume loss was measured in the hundreds, rather than tens, of millilitres. Her pain levels are negligible and her general health has improved too"
Fast Forward 11 years >>
In 2020, Mr Vasu Karri, Consultant Plastic Surgeon at Kinvara Private Hospital invited PhysioPod to provide information on Deep Oscillation for the post surgical and non surgical management of Lipoedema and Lymphoedema such are the results he has witnessed the therapy.
Deep Oscillation In Self-Care
Many Lymphoedema, Lipoedema and Lipo-Lymphoedema sufferers utilise the therapy at home via personal units for self-management between their clinic appointments or post liposuction. PhysioPod offer a hire of personal units for self care and for pre and post liposuction for a six-week period. See PhysioPod Hire Terms.
10 Key Benefits of Deep Oscillation in conservative and pre and post liposuction of Lymphoedema and Lipoedema
- Fast treatment without surgery, syringe or medication
- Extremely gentle and well-tolerated, applicable immediately after injury or from an early post-operative stage
- Pain, swelling and bruising are reduced, tissue quality improved, mobility and patient quality of life enhanced
- No known side effects
- Proven therapy for over 30 years and used worldwide
- Effective conservative treatment for fibrosis caused by lymphoedema or later stage lipoedema
- Reduction of fibrosis pre-liposuction provides enhanced results i.e. fibrosis is broken down, fat is more easily removed with less trauma to the tissue, making the procedure easier, bleeding is reduced with less complications, recovery is improved and accelerated
- Early decisive influence on the wound-healing process
- Non-thermal therapy, can be used over implanted pins and plates, breast implants and prosthesis
Deep oscillation provides symptomatic relief for the patient in conservative management, pre and post Lymphoedema and Lipoedema liposuction and plastic and general surgery. the intermittent, biphasic impulses are delivered directly to the tissue layers of the patient, either through a vinyl covered hand-held applicator (which also enables self-treatment) or via the vinyl gloved hands of the practitioner.
New Features added to the Deep Oscillation Personal Basic and Pro Versions Version 2.1 - Available in August 2020
- Buck DW 2nd, Herbst KL. Lipedema: A Relatively Common Disease with Extremely Common Misconceptions. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2016;4(9):e1043. Published 2016 Sep 28. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000001043
- Cook JC, Gross GP. Adiposis Dolorosa (Dercum, Anders Disease). In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; April 24, 2020.
- Common side affects of Aspirin https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/low-dose-aspirin/
- Mechanisms of Deep Oscillation by Dr Jens Reinhold, Manual Lymphatic Drainage UK - The Journal - April 2017
Specific Lipoedema References
- Plastic Surgery Recovery Handbook Paperback (Author) Kathleen Helen Lisson CLT – July 7, 2019
- Lipedema Treatment Guide: A Certified Lymphedema Therapist's advice for her clients with lipedema. (Author) Kathleen Helen Lisson CLT | Jul 17, 2018
- Lipoedema UK Publication – Practical Guidance for Patients Considering Liposuction as an Option for Managing Lipoedema 2018
- Wounds International: Use of the HIVAMAT® 200 with manual lymphatic drainage in the management of lower-limb lymphoedema and lipoedema Date: 21 March 2018 Author(s): Isabel Teo, Anna Coulborn, DA Munnoch
- Practice Nursing, July 2017 "Lipoedema complicated by secondary lymphoedema" Dr Anne Williams, Isobel MacEwan Practice Nursing | Vol 28 | No 7 | July 2017 | pp 284–289
- Wounds UK. Best Practice Guidelines: The Management of Lipoedema. London: Wounds UK, 2017
- Best practice guidelines for the management of lipoedema D Hardy, A Williams - British journal of community nursing, 2017
- Nourollahi S., Mondry TE, Fall KL (2013): Butcher's Broom and Selenium Improve Lipedema: A Retrospective Case Study. Ageing Integ Med 2 (4), 119.
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