At Vital Energy, our therapists have extensive experience treating lymphedema. The goal of lymphedema therapy is to restore function, reduce physical and psychologic suffering, and prevent the development of infection.
What is Lymphedema?
Lymphedema is the build-up of fluid in soft body tissues when the lymph system is damaged or blocked.
The lymph system is a network of lymph vessels, tissues, and organs that carry lymph fluid throughout the body.
Lymphedema occurs when lymph is not able to flow through the body the proper way.
Types of Lymphedema
Primary lymphedema is caused by an abnormal development in the lymph system.
Secondary lymphedema is caused by damage to the lymph system by an infection, injury, cancer, radiation treatment, surgery or other medical occurrence.
Lymphedema may also be described in "stages," with Stage 1 being lease severe and Stage 3 being most advanced.
Symptoms of Lymphedema
Swelling of the arms or legs (may include fingers and toes)
Itching or burning sensation
Restricted movement of the arm or leg
Thickening of the skin with possible blisters or warts
Feeling of tightness when wearing clothing or jewelry, such as bracelets, watches, or rings
Treatment for Lymphedema
The most common and non-invasive treatment for lymphedema is therapy, either occupational or physical. Manual lymphatic drainage, manual massage, and exercise are commonly used to treat lymphedema. Also with therapy, most patients are recommended the use of compression sleeves or stocking.