Lymphedema management is an important step to take when combating this chronic condition. Management steps are taken through many approaches including manual therapy and manual lymphatic drainage, therapeutic exercises, compression garments, and daily monitoring. Peak Performance employs Certified Lymphedema Therapists who can assist you in taking these steps toward managing your diagnosis and what your specific plan should include.
Lymphedema is a type of edema or swelling that occurs when there is a deficiency in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system consists of lymph or proteins that assist in waste removal and assist your immune system. When lymph flow becomes reduced, this causes the lymph to build up in the system and causes the lymphedema that you see swelling in your leg, arm, or trunk
There are 2 types of lymphedema: Primary and Secondary
Primary lymphedema occurs when there is a congenital or inherited defect in the lymphatic system or malformation in the lymph nodes.
Secondary lymphedema occurs due to a health-related issue during your lifetime.
Lymphedema is a lifelong diagnosis that cannot be cured but it can be managed. Early identification of the signs should be integral to the management of all patients who have received surgery and/or radiation. When treated in the earliest stages, complications of this condition can be minimized.
Management begins with information and education about your diagnosis. With knowledge and proper tools at your disposal you can stay on top of your lymphedema and avoid any worsening symptoms. Tools can be attained through physical therapy consisting of manual therapy and instruction in Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) which includes:
Education to prevent and/or manage lymphedema.
Assessment and rehabilitation of the affected limb and trunk.
Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and instruction in self-massage and skin care.
Specialized exercise programs to facilitate lymphatic circulation.
Custom sleeve fitting and bandaging of the arm if needed.
Without intervention, lymphedema can lead to progressive swelling, hardening of the soft tissues, neurologic changes (eg, pain, numbness, and tingling), and infection.
Peak Performance Physical Therapy is a contracted dealer for Juzo compression products to enhance your lymphedema management. Contact us at 406-542-0808 to schedule a fitting for compression garments.