Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid (called lymph), typically seen as swelling in one part of the body such as the arms or legs, caused by trauma or a disorder of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system of the body is responsible for distributing and removing fluid; when the system and/or its associated organs are damaged or compromised fluid begins to build and has a hard time draining out of the area. When the body is chronically having difficulties processing or moving fluids around the body, we call it lymphedema.
How Do You Treat Lymphedema?
Currently there is no cure, we can only treat the symptoms through Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) which includes:
◻Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
◻Massage used to stimulate lymph nodes, increase lymphatic flow, re-direct fluids around damaged or destroyed lymph vessels.
◻Bandaging (if needed)
◻Compression wrapping used mechanically push fluids out of swollen area for reduction in conjunction with MLD.
◻Home Exercise Program
◻Muscle contractions and increase venous flow to assist with lymphatic workload.
We also do fittings & recommendations for compression garments or pumps to equip the patient with all the tools needed for long term independent management of their lymphedema.