Physical Therapy for Lymphedema

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid in the interstitium. It usually causes chronic inflammation and reactive fibrosis of the affected tissues. Primary lymphedema is hereditary or more commonly a malformation of the lymphatic system. Secondary lymphedema is caused by damage to the lymphatic system which can include parasitic disease, surgery and or radiation for cancer, cancer malignancy, trauma, obesity, infection, or chronic venous insufficiency. As a cancer patient if you have had lymph node removal you are at risk for developing lymphedema. We have certified lymphedema
therapists on staff to educate and treat patients who may develop this condition.

Signs and Symptoms

  • A full or heavy sensation in arms or legs
  • Tight fitting bracelet, watch or ring that wasn’t tight before
  • Decreased flexibility in the hand, wrist, or ankle
  • Swelling in fingers, hands, arms, shoulders, neck, torso, chest, feet, or legs
  • Swelling accompanied with pitting, which is when the skin is depressed for a few seconds and the indentation does not immediately disappear