Lymphedema is abnormal swelling of an extremity or area due to a malfunctioning lymph system or removal or damage of lymph nodes or vessels.
Lymphedema is a chronic and progressive disease that continues to worsen over time if not treated. It can usually be brought under control by proper care and dedication to lifestyle changes.
Treatment of Lymphedema:
Lymphedema cannot be cured with diuretics. Since there is no cure for lymphedema the goal of treatment is to reduce the swelling and to maintain the reduction. This is achieved through Complete Decongestive Therapty (CDT), which has two phases. The goal of Phase I is to reduce the size of the affected extremity. In Phase II the goal is to maintain the reduction.
Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
Good skin care is essential as the skin is vulnerable to infammations and infections
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
MLD is a gentle hands on technique that stimulates the activity of the lymph vessels and manually moves the lymph fluid out of the swollen extremity. When applied correctly MLD will reduce the size of the affected extremity.
The application of the low stretch bandages applies a constant pressure on the lymphatic system moving the excessive fluid out the extremity. This aids in the decongesting process of the limb.
Collaborating with a Certifed Lymphedema Therapist to create an effective decongestive exercise program aids the muscular system to move lymph fluid out of the affected area.