What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema in the arm

Lymphedema ulcers in the leg

Lymphedema is swelling due to the build-up of lymph fluid in the body.

Lymph nodes act like a drain in your sink. If the drain is clogged, the fluid cannot drain.

It usually happens in the arms or legs but can occur in the other parts of the body.

Stages of Lymphedema

Stage 1: Abnormal flow in the lymphatic system. No signs or symptoms.

Stage 2: Accumulation of fluid with swelling.

Stage 3: Permanent swelling that does not resolve with elevation.

Stage 4: Elephantiasis (large, deformed limb), skin thickening with "wart-like" growth and extensive scarring.

We are here to help

We have multiple lymphedema specialists that can help you on an individual basis to meet your specific needs and empower you for progress.

How can physical therapy help?

  1. Reduce swelling, stop fluid build-up, decrease fibrotic tissue, open new lymph passageways.
  2. Education to prevent complications and self care.
  3. Skin care, hygiene recommendations.
  4. Teach self wrapping techniques.
  5. General strengthening and function training.