What is MEM?
Manual Edema Mobilization (MEM) is a method for edema reduction for upper and lower extremity persistent edema found in orthopedic conditions, wounds, trauma, or post-stroke edema. Techniques utilized stimulate an intact but congested or overwhelmed lymphatic system. This edema that only the lymphatic system can reduce lasts longer than a week, has a thick, viscous feel, when pitted takes 30+ seconds to rebound, won’t reduce overnight, and no longer reduces with elevation.
The MEM technique consists of a proximal (trunk) to distal, then distal to proximal, very light manual lymphatic stimulation; intermittent exercise; MEM Pump Point techniques; a brief patient home program; a patient-friendly bandaging application program when necessary; and also when necessary common tissue-softening methods such as “chip bags,” kinesiology taping, and Myofascial Release. Clinical application time of MEM technique, including teaching a brief patient home-treatment program, is 20 minutes.
When to use MEM
MEM is not appropriate for Primary or Secondary edema because these diagnoses require much more extensive and intensive lymph rerouting and bandaging programs.
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