Lymphedema is a swelling of a body part, most often an extremity, caused by an abnormal accumulation of lymph (interstitial) fluid.
Lymphedema may be caused by an anomaly present at birth, but is more commonly due to surgery, trauma, or illnesses such as cancer.
While treatment can vastly improve symptoms, there is no permanent cure for this disease.
A trained therapist utilizes various techniques such as manual lymph drainage (MLD), compression bandaging, and remedial exercises to treat lymphedema.
The following are common causes of lymphedema:
How Does One Prevent Lymphedema?
How is Lymphedema Treated?
Manual lymph drainage (MLD) is a gentle manual treatment, which improves the activity of the lymph system. MLD reroutes lymph flow around blocked areas into more centrally located, healthy lymph vessels which drain into the venous system.
Compression bandaging is the application of minimally elastic cotton bandages to increase the tissue pressure in the swollen extremity. Bandaging improves the efficiency of muscle and joint pumps, prevents the reaccumulation of evacuated lymph fluid, and helps break up accumulated scar and connective tissue.
Remedial exercises are performed with bandages or the support garment in place. These exercises are designed to improve lymph circulation through the muscle joint pump. Meticulous skin and nail care eliminates bacterial and fungal growth and reduces the chance of infection. Benefits of Lymphedema Treatment
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