Drastically Reduce the Effects of Lymphedema With Physical Therapy


Lymphedema is a condition in which there are blockages in the lymphatic system. It refers to tissue swelling caused by protein-rich fluid that’s usually drained by the body’s lymphatic system.

When the lymphatic system is unable to properly move the fluid from the subcutaneous tissue back to the bloodstream for the body to eliminate, swelling occurs, and other issues. If the lymph system is not functioning properly, then the fluid and proteins will remain in the tissue spaces and could turn into a chronic condition. A good lymphedema clinic Louisville KY can employ physical therapy to mitigate the negative effects of lymphedema.

Important PT Treatments for Lymphedema

People who struggle with lymphedema and who’ve never invested in physical therapy find themselves wondering, “are there physical therapists near me that can help with my condition?” Indeed, a physical therapist trained in lymphedema therapy will use Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) to help control and manage symptoms. The CDT technique consists of four key parts. 

The first aspect of CDT is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and this is a gentle hands-on massage technique. The next is a diligent skincare routine. Compression bandaging or other garments will help to limit fluid buildup and help the muscles to pump the fluid away. Finally, decongestive exercises, which involve active, non-resistant movements that follow a specific order of movements will help pump lymph out of the swollen area.

Initially, management is intensive. Therapists will help patients to put together a treatment plan that will best address the swelling and meet the other needs of the patient. It’s important to reduce the swelling in lymphedema and that’s the aim of CDT. Because swelling can occur in the head, neck, genitals, arms, legs and trunk, there are various versions of CDT for different parts of the body.

Reduced Swelling and Symptoms

Asymmetrical swelling is the main symptom of lymphedema and can be localized to one part of the body. Besides swelling, those who struggle with lymphedema can cause a feeling of heaviness or tightness, cause pain and infections and limit the ability for movement in the swollen area. 

When swelling is reduced with treatment, other symptoms become more manageable. The name of the game is consistency. Because there is no cure for lymphedema, treatment is focused on keeping swelling down and preventing further complications. 

The Benefits of Physical Therapy

Besides reducing swelling, physical therapy can give you the psychological edge that you need when dealing with such a condition. It gives you power over the affliction. Exercise can also improve your quality of life. Both exercise and massage will stimulate the lymphatic system and promote drainage.

Dealing with lymphedema is neither pleasant nor comfortable. Extreme lymphedema can even affect a person’s ability to move the affected limb and increase the risk of infection and sepsis. This is why so many people with the condition are asking, “where is there physical therapy near me?” The good news is that there is physical therapy near you. If you’re struggling with lymphedema, visit a physical therapist today to get the treatment that you need to ease your symptoms and have a more comfortable tomorrow.

Shafie SEO

SEO Blogger

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