- Question from Rose-5: Is it okay to wear a shoulder strap handbag on the affected arm? Also, would activities such as painting walls cause damage or be detrimental?
- Answers - Kathryn Schmitz This question comes back to the issue of overuse and understanding what overuse is for you individually. If your shoulder bag requires more of your limb than it can handle and your arm feels tired and stressed after wearing it, it's too much. Get a smaller bag. If your limb feels okay, it's fine. If your maximal capacity of the affected limb is a 10 and any activity – not just carrying a shoulder bag – requires 9.5 out of 10, that's probably too much. So rather than say you can never carry that bag again, go do some exercise so that your capacity becomes a 15 and carrying a bag that requires 9.5 isn't such a big deal any more.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Preventing and Treating Arm Lymphedema featured Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.S.M.,Nicole Stout, M.P.T. C.L.T.-L.A.N.A., and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D., F.A.S.C. answering your questions about ways to prevent and manage lymphedema.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2008.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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