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Treating Lymphedema

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What is Lymphedema? Lymphedema is chronic swelling caused by a buildup of fluid (lymph) that occurs when arm-lymphedemathe lymphatic system is either faulty or damaged. Swelling can occur in any part of the body. There is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be effectively treated by a certified lymphedema therapist. With the use of manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, exercises, and proper skin care, lymphedema can be managed.

 

 

 

 

If you can leave a thumb print in your leg/ankle or arm, KEEP READING!

This indicates heavy concentrations of protein and cell debris. Bacteria Loves Protein! And Protein Loves water! Putting you at a high risk of infection and more swelling!  

 pitting-edema-ankle

 

 

 

 

 

What causes Lymphedema? There are two types of lymphedema: Primary and Secondary. Secondary lymphedema is caused when the lymph system is damaged by and outside factor such as surgery, trauma, radiation, chemo therapy, or infection. Primary lymphedema is a rare, inherited condition caused by problems with the development of lymph vessels in your body.

 

Symptoms of Lymphedema                                                                                      leg-lymphedema                                                                

  • Swelling of part or all of your arm or leg, including fingers or toes
  • A feeling of heaviness or tightness
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Aching or discomfort
  • Recurring infections
  • Hardening and thickening of the skin (fibrosis), discoloration of skin

                                                                                                    


                                                                                       

 

How do I treat my Lymphedema?

There is no cure for lymphedema; however, there is an effective treatment to manage lymphedema. Your certified lymphedema therapist will use a light, comfortable manual therapy technique called Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD). MLD redirects the lymph out of the affected extremity to a healthy part of the lymph system to help carry  the fluid out of your body. Compression therapy  will also be an important part of your therapy andmld  management. Your therapist will work with you to find the most appropriate garment for long term use. Other areas addressed during therapy are  how to prevent lymphedema, exercises that are good vs bad, and skin care needs.

 

 

Lymphedema Fact: Lasix (water pills) does not treat lymphedema. Only MLD can rid your body of the lymph fluid (lymph, protein, cell debris). Lasix only rids the body of water which means, when it comes to lymphedema, protein is left behind. And remember from above, protein loves water and attracts more water back to the leg or arm.

Helpful website:

http://www.lymphnet.org

This article was written by edgept

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