Lymphedema is a complex, chronic condition affecting three to five millions of Americans. It results in the buildup and swelling of the affected body part due to the insufficient function of the lymphatic system. It is most commonly caused by the removal of lymph nodes or vessels during treatment of cancer. Untreated or under-treated lymphedema is progressive, leading to increased complications, comorbidities, loss of function, disability – or even death. There is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be effectively treated.
Occupational therapy practitioners are part of the health care team who help patients manage lymphedema. At Complete Rehabilitation Services, we do this by performing exercises, taping, or gently massaging the limb to help move lymph fluid up or down into the body. We enable patients to self-manage the disease with ways to reduce or manage lymphedema through manual lymphatic drainage, teaching proper techniques for compression bandaging, skin care, and exercise. Additionally, our team can provide education on modifying or eliminating habits that might contribute to lymphedema.
Talk to your doctor today if you could benefit from occupational therapy or call our Roswell office for more questions.