Lymphedema is swelling caused by a disfunction of the lymph system and can show up anywhere in the body. In the US, it most commonly follows cancer surgery due to lymph node resection, but can occur for several reasons. Lymph nodes removed don't grow back. Congenital defects may form disabled nodes or lymph vessels. Most often it looks like one arm or leg has swollen up, but can also affect both limbs, the torso, face, or genitals. A limb affected by lymphedema looks bigger than it's mate, feels heavy and achy, may be difficult to lift and move. The discomfort of the limb may keep you from sleeping well or doing daily tasks. Untreated, the condition continues to worsen. The limb can expand to a huge size, the tissue hardens and the skin is prone to infections like cellulitis and fungal infections.
Lymphedema is a chronic condition that requires lifetime management. There is an effective treatment available, called Complete Decongestive Therapy(CDT). CDT is a combination of Lymph drainage massage, bandaging, and excercises designed to maximize your 'muscle pumps' to reduce the size of the limb. Once the limb is reduced as much as possible, a combination of day and night custom fitted compression garments is used for the 'maintenance' phase. Lymphedema patients go on to live active lives - going places, doing things, living life like normal.
Lymphedema Treatment/CDT is a specialized field practiced by highly trained physical therapists, nurses, and massage therapists. I am pleased to announce I have become certified in CDT and can offer treatment right here in Shelton, WA. I am privileged to be able to make such a big difference in people's lives! Questions? Call me at 509-846-6367 for details on treatment options. Consultations are FREE.
More info on Lymphedema and Treatments available at these websites: