Physical therapy is beneficial for many different things. For example, athletes often reach out to sports injury physical therapy when they are recov
Physical therapy is beneficial for many different things. For example, athletes often reach out to sports injury physical therapy when they are recovering or want to improve their athletic skills. Another thing that therapy helps with is lymphedema. This condition can be extremely painful and debilitating, and physical therapy has a variety of ways to manage the symptoms. If you have lymphedema, it is worth finding a physical therapist in your area.
Excellent Treatment for Lymphedema
Because much of physical therapy is hands-on, there are many ways that it can help with lymphedema.
Information About Lymphedema
Lymphedema occurs when there is a buildup of fluid in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is important for immunity and ridding the body of cellular waste. Lymph is the fluid that flows through the system, and it is made up of extra fluid from tissues and cells. When there is blockage of its normal drainage flow, this accumulated fluid and associated symptoms is called lymphedema.
Lymphedema most commonly occurs in the arms, legs, and extremities. Signs include swelling, discolored skin, and reduced range of motion. It can be mild or severe, and those who suffer from severe lymphedema may have pain and serious skin infections, and they most likely are unable to move the affected limb.
Causes of Lymphedema
Lymphedema is seen mostly in cancer patients. Sometimes a cancerous tumor grows near a lymph vessel, which results in a restriction of lymphatic flow. If cancer patients get radiation, this may result in inflammation of the lymphatic vessels, which also interferes with drainage. Sometimes the lymph nodes of cancer patients are removed, and this may lead to lymphedema. In developing countries, lymphedema may be caused by worm infections that block the nodes.
How Physical Therapists Help with Lymphedema
Physical therapy in Cary, NC can help with lymphedema in various ways. The physical therapist may use gentle manual therapy, in the form of a lymph drainage massage, to help move the lymph along, which helps to reduce swelling and pain.
Other ways the PT may help drain the lymph are using compression garments or bandages or hooking the patient up to a sequential pneumatic compression machine. Light, easy exercises help, as the contraction of the muscles keep fluid moving. The goals of physical therapy for lymphedema include reducing swelling, decreasing pain, improving movement, restoring function, and regaining strength.
How To Find Your Physical Therapist
If you have lymphedema, it pays to be picky when searching for physical therapy near me. Not every therapist has experience working with lymphedema clients, so make sure you ask for one that does. When you first see the PT, she or he will assess your situation and ask about symptoms and if anything makes them worse or better.
The therapist will then recommend a treatment plan that is customized specifically for you. You will probably need to see your PT for multiple sessions for the most effective results. Along with using multiple modalities to reduce the swelling, your therapist may also recommend things you can do at home to help.