Types of Treatment
Lymphedema treatment at All Star Physical Therapy is designed to reduce pain, swelling, and other symptoms through a combination of special therapies and exercises.
These treatments are provided by a certified lymphedema therapist (CLT) in an outpatient setting. The earlier lymphedema is treated, the better the results.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is painful swelling of the arms and legs, generally as a result of removal or damage to your lymph nodes.
The lymphatic system collects excess fluid, proteins, and other substances (or “lymph”) from the body tissues and carries them back to the bloodstream through the lymph nodes. Swelling, or “edema,” may occur when the lymph increases in the body tissues.
Lymphedema is a painful condition resulting in persistent swelling of an arm or leg due to a blockage in your lymphatic system. It can be a hereditary condition, but it’s most commonly the result of blockages caused by infection, cancer, and scar tissue from radiation therapy or the surgical removal of lymph nodes.
Many people who are actively going through cancer treatment, or who have in the past, have not been offered the option of seeing a physical therapist. Schedule a visit today to understand how lymphedema treatment at All Star Physical Therapy can help you find relief and live life to the fullest.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of lymphedema can include:
- Swelling in the arms, legs, shoulders, hands, fingers, or chest
- Aching or a feeling of heaviness in your arm or leg
- Weakness in your arm or leg
- Joint pain
- Inability to move joints as freely as usual
- Skin that feels tighter, harder, or thicker than normal in the affected area
- Indentations made by pressing a finger on the skin that take time to “fill in” after the pressure is removed, or “pitting”
If you’ve noticed these conditions, contact your physical therapist. They’ll review your medical history and medications and perform a thorough examination to see whether or not you are suffering from lymphedema.
What to expect during your Lymphedema treatment at All Star Physical Therapy
- You will be assessed by a certified lymphedema therapist (CLT) who is specifically trained in Complete Decongestive Therapy to treat lymphedema.
- Your therapist will evaluate your strength and range of motion and take measurements of your affected and non-affected areas, which will be monitored vigilantly throughout the course of your treatment.
- A customized plan will be created just for you that begins with instruction on how the program works, your specific diagnosis and how to manage and further prevent lymphedema.
- If swelling is mild, it can often be managed by compression garments, exercise, and elevation of the affected limb to encourage lymph flow.
- For more severe swelling, your physical therapist may use a number of interventions, including manual lymphatic drainage, which feels like a light form of massage and helps improve the flow of lymph.
- A session may consist of specialized massage, skin and nail care, compression bandaging, continuing education, and a home exercise program to fit your individual needs.
- Once the limb has decreased to the desired size, your physical therapist will help you begin to manage the affected area on your own through education, an exercise program, and updated compression garments.
Lymphedema, Breast Cancer, and PT
An estimated one third of women who undergo axillary lymph node dissection during breast cancer treatment develop lymphedema. Physical Therapy after breast cancer reduces lymphedema, ensures better outcomes, and increases the survival rate.
Physical Therapy treatment post-breast cancer can:
- Increase postural endurance
- Improve function
- Decrease risk of lymphedema
- Increase aerobic activity
- Improve shoulder range of motion
- Aid in developing lifelong physical activity program
Join thousands of patients in reclaiming your life.
Here’s what some of our patients had to say
All Star physical therapy really was knowledgeable and attentive during the recovery of my knee replacement. The PT and staff of assistants were encouraging, and gentle. With every visit my range of movement improved, very impressive. I would highly recommend All Star physical therapy.
Couldn’t be happier with this place! This group takes their time to listen to the client and really assess their particular needs. They work with you to come up with an individualized treatment plan that works and everybody on the team helps follow that through! Highly recommend.
Incredibly grateful that I was referred to All Star Physical Therapy by my insurance. To see a great Physical Therapist who is not only close to home but is also knowledgeable, personable, & empathetic to all of my aches and pains, is a real plus for me.
I don’t know where I would be today without the help of All Star Physical Therapy – in all likelihood significantly disabled. Today, my quality of life is enormously improved, thanks to the knowledgeable competence, genuine caring, and constant encouragement of the staff at All Star.
I have nothing but great things to say about the physical therapists, assistants and receptionists at All Star Physical Therapy. They are exceptionally talented physical therapists and have greatly helped me in my rehab since having hip surgery. Thanks to everyone.
This is an amazing group of people who passionately care . From the front desk to the therapist and all the staff that you encounter. They should call the office five Star instead of All Star. I feel so much better, I just wish I hadn’t waited so long to start!