Lymphedema

Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs. Although Lymphedema tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms or both legs may be swollen. Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of your immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues.

We are proud to say that we have a staff member at each location certified in Lymphedema treatment. Their specialized training enables them to utilize the most current and effective methods including the following:

Manual Lymph Drainage:

Manual Lymph Drainage is a gentle manual treatment which improves the function of the lymphatic system throughout the body. In lymphedema therapy, MLD is used to re-route lymph flow around blocked areas and into healthy lymph vessels which drain into the venous circulation. MLD is also an effective treatment for post-surgical swelling, post-traumatic edema (as with sports injuries), migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions involving edema.

Compression Therapy:

Compression therapy increases tissue pressure and improves the efficiency of the muscle and joint pump. Multi-layered compression bandages are applied between MLD treatments to help prevent re-accumulation of evacuated fluid. Once the patient’s limb is sufficiently decongested through repeated treatments, they can be fit with compression garments.

Exercises:

Exercises are performed with compression bandages in place to activate the muscle and joint pumps of the affected extremity. This results in an increase in lymphokinetic activity and further reduction of the swollen limb over time.

Skin Care:

Skin care and general hygiene are essential to eliminate bacterial and fungal growth which can cause repeated attacks of cellulitis or erysipelas. Infections are very common complications of lymphedema so meticulous skin and nail care is a vital component of treatment.

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