What is Lymphedema? Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein rich “lymph” fluid in the tissues under the skin, causing swelling in an arm, leg, neck or any area of the body.
What causes lymphedema?
Lymphedema usually occurs as a result of surgical dissection of lymph nodes for breast, melanoma, prostate or head/neck cancers. Other causes can include radiation therapy, trauma, infections, morbid obesity and venous insufficiency.
How is lymphedema treated?
Our Certified Lymphedema Therapists (CLTs) teach patients how to manage their condition with the following:
- Gentle Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
- Skin Care Instruction
- Compression Bandaging
- Therapeutic Exercises
- Properly Fit Compression Garments
Breast Cancer and Lymphedema
Breast cancer related lymphedema, which can cause significant swelling of the involved arm, forearm, and hand, breast, and even the trunk, is mostly caused by damage and trauma to the body's lymphatic system during treatment for cancer and can lead to limited movement, joint pain, and difficulty performing overhead activities.
Our therapists have undergone additional training and are Certified Lymphedema Therapists (CLT) who are experts in treating the swelling associated with lymphedema, in restoring motion and mobility and developing a plan for management that can reduce the risk of cellulitis and exacerbations of lymphedema symptoms.
Please contact us at (707) 542-5400 for more information or to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about Physical Therapy and the services we provide.