Lymphedema Physical Therapy
Lymphedema may be diagnosed by a primary care physician, general surgeon and / or vascular surgeon. A physiotherapist who has received specialized training in Complete Decongestive Therapy for Lymphedema treatment, is the best to be approached if you’re suffering from lymphedema.
Causes of Lymphedema:
- Congenital (happens usually after birth)
- Ageing (after completing 50 years of age)
- Obstruction of lymphatic vessels: After surgery or after irradiation therapy
Signs and Symptoms:
- Heaviness of the limbs
- General intolerance
- Ulcer formation
- Skin becomes vulnerable to infection
Physical Therapy for Lymphedema:
The goal is of physiotherapy is to restore function, reduce physical and psychological suffering, and prevent the development of infection. Lymphedema physical therapy consists of massage, manual drainage of the blocked lymphatic fluid, and management of the condition with compression garments. To normalize the size of the affected limb, elevation and treatment with air compression bladders may also be used. The therapy is typically performed by a special physical therapist, initially in a medical facility, and then continued daily by the patient and a caretaker at home.
Goals of Physiotherapy:
- Decrease swelling
- Increase strength
- Increase the range of motion/flexibility
- Restore function and improve quality of life
Patients undergoing physiotherapy can take several other actions to improve the effects of physical therapy. They should avoid tight clothing, salty and spicy foods. Continued elevation of the affected limb can aid in drainage and relieve pressure from the affected limb. It’s also important to keep the skin dry and clean in order to avoid infection. You can contact our professional physiotherapists in Edmonton, if you or anyone you know is suffering from lymphedema.