Lymphedema is a chronic condition involving the accumulation of protein-rich fluids that become trapped within the cellular spaces of the body’s soft tissues, leading to swelling in different areas of the body. There are two main types - primary lymphedema and secondary lymphedema. Primary lymphedema occurs due to complications in the lymph system during fetal development. Secondary lymphedema occurs due to an external trauma to the lymph system.
Risk factors for Lymphedema include:
- Combined surgery and radiation
- Combined surgery and infection
- Heavy breast prosthesis
- Trauma to the remaining lymphatics (i.e sunburn, blood pressure cuff usage, and non-lymphatic related surgery)
- Recurrent tumors
- Chronic venous disease (involving the large lymphatic vessels which run parallel to your veins)
There is currently no known cure for Lymphedema, but it can be managed under the direct supervision of a Physician and treatment by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT). Our skilled CLTs customize Lymphedema treatments to include Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), a unique and specific superficial manual therapy applied to promote lymphatic functioning and fluid flushing. Additional areas of treatment focus are proper skin care, remedial exercises, Aquatic Therapy, and individualized compression strategies, which may include wrapping and/or garments.
Lymphedema Therapies at PT360 offer our patients specifically designed, active approaches for life-long management of their Lymphedema. Our Certified Lymphedema Therapists are located in our Williston and Shelburne offices, and are here to help you get started with managing your swelling and Lymphedema.