What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is swelling caused by a buildup of lymphatic fluid, or lymph, in an area of your body. Lymph is part of your lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps remove waste and fight infection.
Symptoms of lymphedema
Lymphedema happens most often in the arms or legs. Signs and symptoms include:
- Aching, tingling or numbness
- Decreased flexibility
- Feelings of tightness or fullness
- Puffiness or swelling
What causes lymphedema?
Some people are born with lymphedema. For others, it happens when their lymphatic system is damaged by cancer, cancer treatment, injury, infection or obesity.
Certified lymphedema therapists
Trust the knowledge and expertise of certified lymphedema therapists (CLTs) at ProHealth. Our CLTs include occupational therapists and physical therapists with advanced training in treating lymphedema.
Work with your CLT to manage your lymphedema symptoms using the techniques that are most effective for you. Your care plan may include:
- Compression therapy – Bandages, wraps or special garments to move extra lymph and prevent it from returning.
- Manual lymph drainage – Light massage to help improve flow of lymph.
- Lymphedema exercises – Gentle movements to help reduce swelling and improve the flow of lymph.
- Lymphedema pumps – Pressurized inflatable sleeves to help move lymph.
- Skin and nail care – Cleansing, moisturizing and ointments to prevent dry, cracked skin and infections.