Lymphedema (lymphatic obstruction) occurs when lymph vessels become blocked causing a build-up of lymph fluid. The swelling this causes is usually found in the extremities (arms, hands, feet, or legs) but can also occur in other part of the body. Lymphedema can be caused by an accident or disease but is most commonly caused when a lymph node is surgically removed or is damaged during radiation, usually as part of a cancer treatment. The goal is treatment is to move the protein-rich lymph fluid to drain into the proper channels to decrease and eliminate swelling. Treatment of lymphedema can include compression wraps or garments, massage, and range of motion exercises. If left untreated, lymphedema can lead to infection in the effected area and, in severe cases, skin ulcers. It is important that patients suffering from lymphedema be treated and monitored by a trained professional.


Symptoms of Lymphedema:

  • A heavy feeling in arms or legs
  • Severe fatigue
  • Chronic, persistent swelling
  • Ache or discomfort
  • Hardening or thickening of skin on arm or leg


Treatment of Lymphedema:

  • Range of motion exercises
  • Compression wraps or garments
  • Massage
  • Compression pump

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