Lymphedema is a chronic condition causing swelling, usually of an arm or leg but can affect any part of the body.
There are two types of lymphedema:
Primary lymphedema, people who are born with this condition and Secondary lymphedema which is caused by trauma to the lymphatic system. The most common cause of secondary lymphedema is surgical removal of lymph nodes usually related to a diagnosis of cancer and use of radiation.
The most widely recognized treatment for lymphedema is Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT).
Combined decongestive therapy consists of:
Look for a therapist that has completed a minimum of 135 hours of CDT training. Current unrestricted registration as a health care professional such as RN, OT, CTA, PT, PTA, MD, DO, DC, or Registered Massage Therapist.
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) is a safe, effective, gentle massage that aids in cleansing the body’s tissues. MLD drains excess fluid from the tissues and also has a detoxifying effect.
MLD is widely prescribed by physicians in Europe and many physicians in the United States and Canada also recognize the benefits of MLD for their patients.