A series of exercises were developed and evaluated by Godoy & Godoy and are part of the Godoy Method; the use of some have already been reported in the literature.
Exercises are an important part of lymphedema treatment, but no studies have shown their efficacy in normalizing the size of edematous limbs in isolation. Exercises work by intermittently creating a vis a latere pressure in the vessels and increasing the pressure in the interstitial space favoring the formation and drainage of lymph.
However, movements require a greater blood supply to the extremity and this means greater capillary filtration. The balance between the ‘pumping’ and filtration effects will result in increased or reduced swelling. Thus, the lymphedema of some patients improves while in others it gets worse. We have seen several cases where exercising has greatly aggravated lymphedema and so supervision of a professional who understands lymphedema is extremely important.