Lymphedema Therapy Rehabilitation
If you have swelling in your arms or legs, our licensed physical therapists can help you with lymphedema therapy rehabilitation. We will first provide a complete evaluation, followed by treatment that consists of mild exercise and compression bandaging or stockings as necessary. Your therapist will also instruct you in self care, teaching you what you can do at home.
As our patient, we will arrange with your insurance provider to pay for a home compression pump. This is almost always a covered benefit and very effective for home care for as long as it is needed.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is the excessive and abnormal swelling in the body that consists of protein-rich fluids. The swelling is most often found in the arms or legs. It can occur as a result of surgery, lymph node damage, trauma, infection, malignancy, scar tissue, deep vein clotting, and cancer treatment. Due to any of the aforementioned there, is a blockage that changes the flow of lymph through the lymphatic system. It is the goal of manual lymphatic drainage to restore the flow.
5 Steps of Lymphedema Therapy Rehabilitation
- MLD is a gentle massage therapy in which the skin is manipulated based on the structure of the underlying lymphatic system.
- Compression bandaging assists the pumping action of the muscular system, decreases fluid accumulation after manual lymphatic drainage, and breaks down fibrotic tissues. You will learn to do self-bandaging if needed.
- Exercise improves the muscle pumping activity which increases movement of lymphatic fluid.
- Skin and nail care are important to prevent infection.
- Self-care instruction keeps the lymphedema under control by involving you in skin care, self-bandaging, exercise, use of a home pump or manual lymphatic drainage you can do yourself.