Athletico’s lymphedema therapists can help improve your quality of life by reducing
physical discomfort and swelling, addressing scar tissue problems, and restoring range
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is the persistent swelling or feeling of tightness in an area due to an accumulation of fluid in the soft tissue. There are two main types of lymphedema: Primary and Secondary. Primary lymphedema is due to a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system. Secondary lymphedema is caused by the removal of or damage to lymph nodes and/or lymphatic structures, resulting in a blockage of fluid from the area. Secondary lymphedema is more recognized and often stems from trauma, surgery, or treatments for breast cancer, head/neck cancers, & pelvic cancers. It may also occur following a blood clot, infection, or scar formation, interfering with proper lymphatic fluid flow.
How can Lymphedema Therapy Help?
Lymphedema Therapy includes exercises, manual lymphatic drainage, and compression bandaging. Exercise promotes increased blood flow to muscles, allowing oxygen to be distributed. Our exercise program progresses slowly and steadily to avoid injury and increase fluid transportation through the area.
Lymphedema Therapist Can Provide:
- Patient education
- Lymphatic drainage therapy
- Exercise including diaphragmatic breathing
- Compression bandaging
Common Symptoms of Lymphedema:
- Decreased flexibility in the hand, wrist, or ankle
- Swelling in the arms, hands, fingers, shoulders, trunk, or legs
- Clothes don’t fit like they used to. The top of the sleeves or pants is tight
- Decreased sensation, numbness and/or tingling in the affected limb
- Arm/leg fatigue due to the weight of the extremity
- Recurrent infections
- A feeling of heaviness
- A bruised feeling due to the skin being tight
Protective Measures to Minimize Risk of Flare-Up and Infection Include:
- Avoid scratches, cuts, burns, and insect bites
- Keep skin meticulously clean
- Avoid extreme heat or cold
- Avoid intense activities, overdoing it, heavy lifting
- Wear a compression sleeve during airline travel
- No needle sticks or blood pressure on the affected side
- Avoid tight clothing and wearing jewelry on the affected side