Lymphedema is the accumulation of lymphatic fluid that causes swelling in the arms and legs.
Lymphedema occurs when venous or lymphatic vessels or both are impaired. When the impairment is so great that the lymph fluid exceeds the lymphatic transport capacity, an abnormal amount of protein fluids collect in the tissues of the extremity.
Untreated, this stagnant and protein- rich fluid not only causes tissue channels to increase in size and number, but also reduces oxygen through the transport system, interferes with wound healing, and provides a culture medium for bacteria that can result in various infections.
A chronic inflammatory condition stemming from this accumulation of fluid eventually results in fibrosis (hardening) of the extremity tissues.
By using a specialized technique called Manual Lymph Drainage-Complete Decongestive Therapy we can increase the lymph flow to facilitate decreasing the lymphedema in an extremity. Followed with skin care, multi layer wrapping, and exercise, we can significantly reduce the effects of lymphedema. A home program is taught as a means to assist with maintaining your lymphedema. Come in for a free lymphedema consultation. Knowledge is power; call us prior to your surgery for valuable information.
A general feeling of tightness and/or heaviness of the limb or a specific feeling of tightness and tenderness in the elbow.
Arm lymphedema- aching back of shoulder or feeling of tightness and/or tenderness in the elbow and/or pain in joints of arm.
Leg lymphedema- aching buttock and/or a feeling of tightness and tenderness in the back of the knee. May also include pain in joints of leg, tenderness in the groin of the affected leg, and distended abdomen.
A sensation of "pins and needles" in the affected extremity.
"Shooting or busting pains" up the affected extremity.
The extremity or affected areas are warmer than other parts-but not red, which may suggest infection.
Also check out our Lyphedema Support Group Information page to find out how to get in one of our Lymphedema Support Groups
Get a free Lymphedema consultation with Kathy Holder by filling out the form below!
Manual Lymphatic Drainage
by Kathy Holder, OTR/L Certified Lymphedema Specialist
Visit http://www.lymphnet.org for information about Lymphedema.