What is Lymphedema? : Spokane Physical Therapist Blog

What is Lymphedema?

by Acceleration Physical Therapy Staff on 12/31/13

Lymphedema is a chronic health condition that occurs most commonly after surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Other causes of lymphedema include, infection, obesity, venous insufficiency, trauma, or a part of the recovery process from joint replacements and other surgeries.

One in five woman treated for breast cancer will have mild to severe lymphedema during their life. Know and watch for the early signs of lymphedema. They are as simple as:

·         A feeling of heaviness

·         Your ring or watch becomes too tight

When lymphatic tissues or lymph nodes have been damaged or removed for any reason, lymph fluid cannot drain normally from that area. The area can become swollen and heavy with lymph fluid. The outpatient lymphedema therapy program at Acceleration Therapy Services helps people who are experiencing abnormal swelling of a body part (including but not limited to neck, arm, leg, breast, abdomen) caused by an excessive build-up of lymph fluid.

 

What we do:

The lymphedema trained therapists at Acceleration Therapy Services are committed to providing personalized care utilizing a series of treatments and focusing on patient education to allow you to manage and maintain the results from your therapy sessions.

Kinds of therapy we offer:

·         Manual Lymphatic Drainage: A gentle, hands-on technique to move lymph fluid from the swollen region into parts of the lymphatic system that are still functioning.

·         Compression Bandaging: May be used to help prevent the re-accumulation of lymphatic fluid.

·         Therapeutic Exercise: Designed to improve circulation and function of the lymph system.

·         Compression Garment Fitting: a medical compression garment may be used to maintain decongestion benefits.

·         Personalized Education in Self-Care: at home techniques including: self-bandaging, self-massage, exercise, and skin and nail care.

Our Lymphedema trained Therapists:

Stacey Davis PT, DPT

Margaret Gardner, PTA

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