Do you have a swollen arm or swollen legs? Are you suddenly having trouble with your rings feeling tight or your shoes not fitting? Changes with your skin around areas of swelling? You may have lymphedema.
Lymphedema is an accumulation or buildup of fluid that causes the swelling in arms, legs, trunk or another body part. When lymph fluid exceeds the amount the lymphatics can handle, an abnormal amount of protein fluid collects in the affected tissue. This then causes the size of the limb to increase, impedes wound healing, causes changes to the skin and provides an unhealthy environment in which bacteria can grow and cause various infections.
If you have had lymph nodes surgically removed, have had radiation treatment, trauma to the lymphatic system, or infections involving the lymph nodes, you are at an increased risk of having lymphedema. The following practices can help minimize the effects of lymphedema, and are used in conjunction with treatment from a Certified Lymphedema Therapist:
- Practice good skin care.
- Avoid muscle strain.
- Avoid extreme heat.
- Avoid constriction to the limb.
- Follow a well-balanced diet.
There is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be managed successfully through various treatment techniques along with patient education.
Call Rehab Specialists for an evaluation with a Lymphedema Certified Physical Therapist. After a detailed evaluation we will custom prepare a plan to address your swelling and restore function.