Journal of Nursing Science and Engineering
Online ISSN : 2432-6283
Print ISSN : 2188-4323
ISSN-L : 2188-4323
Original Article
The effects of three different bathing methods on improving swelling of the lower limbs: self-care in patients with lymphedema
Yoshihiro ShimomuraYali XiaFumika TsudaKumi OgaMari YokoiHiroko FujimuraHiroko Fujimura
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2020 Volume 7 Pages 1-12


Progression of edema in patients with lymphedema is caused by internal factors and external factors, e.g., maintaining the same posture. We aimed to determine the bathing method for self-care that would best improve lower-limb swelling caused by standing in a constrained position in the same posture. Three different bathing methods, mist sauna, whole-body bath, and shower were tested. After a task was performed in the upright position, changes in lower-limb swelling were examined during and after bathing. Subjective evaluation and calf circumference measured improvement in swelling. We found that after bathing, the increase in calf circumference was not restored to the value observed at the end of the task in the upright position. However, bathing helped to eliminate subjective discomfort. Further, it was found that significant reduction in the maximum calf circumference was seen following mist sauna, which significantly affected the swelling by accumulation of venous blood owing to vasodilation and contraction in response to thermal stimulation. The bathing method has different effects, mainly on swelling by accumulation of venous blood. Therefore, the effects of bathing method on objective improvement in swelling over longer recovery periods may be recognized.

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