Reduce the swelling and discomfort of lymphedema while improving your mobility
The first-line treatment of lymphedema is physical therapy. We’ll reduce the potential effects lymphedema can have on your whole body while helping to restore the function of your lymph system.
The lymphatic system is an essential part of your immune and circulatory systems. When a blockage happens in your lymphatic system, swelling of your arms or legs may occur.
Lymphedema often occurs after a surgery, such as the removal or damage to the lymph nodes as part of cancer treatments, infected tissues, or caused by genetic abnormalities. With chronic swelling, there are many risks, including circulation issues, risk of infection and potential for future injury. Identifying and treating lymphedema will reduce physiological effects of the disease and restore function.
Our Complete Decongestive Therapy Program includes:
- Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD): A gentle massage technique of both the affected body part and surrounding areas. MLD can move lymph fluid from the swollen region into parts of the lymphatic system that are still functioning. From there, the fluid is transported throughout the circulatory system.
- Compression Bandaging: After MLD, the treated area is wrapped with layers of compression bandages to help prevent the re-accumulation of lymphatic fluid.
- Compression Garment Fitting: After compression bandaging we measure for custom compression garments for long term management of lymphatic fluid.
- Therapeutic Exercise: We will teach you decongestive exercises specific for lymphedema to improve circulation and function of the lymph system and integrate functional activities while wearing compression.
- Personalized Education in Self-Care: Our lymphedema therapy specialists will teach you how to maintain your treatment progress through at-home techniques, including self-bandaging, self-massage, exercise, skin and nail care, and protection of the affected area.
Your physical therapist will serve as an important member of your health care team and will work closely with you to design a treatment program to help control the swelling so you can return to your activities of choice.
Accelerate your recovery. Download our free guide, Speed Up Your Recovery Before You Begin Physical Therapy by Patricia Staszak, PT, PYT.