Due to hurricane damage, the Havelock location is closed until further notice. Havelock therapists Hannah Zhang, Sarah Hall and Judy Hickes are available to see patients at the New Bern location. Please call the New Bern location at (252) 636-9800 to discuss your care.

How a Physical Therapist Provides Lymphedema Therapy

lymphedema therapy

Lymphedema refers to the swelling of your arms or legs caused by damage to or removal of the lymph nodes. When the lymph nodes are removed or damaged, the fluid of your lymphatic system builds up and causes swelling. When this happens, you may need to see a physical therapist for lymphedema therapy.

When your arm or leg begins to swell due to the build-up of lymph fluid, you may experience pain and loss of motion. Furthermore, lymphedema increases your risk of developing an infection and a rare type of cancer known as lymphangiosarcoma.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for lymphedema, but patients can experience their best quality of life with medical assistance from physical therapists.

How do physical therapists treat lymphedema?

The goal of physical therapy for lymphedema is to help reduce swelling and manage pain. Lymphedema is more easily treated when it’s caught early, so it’s important to seek medical assistance as soon as you notice persistent swelling in your arms or legs.

At Peak Performance Physical Therapy, we work closely with our patients to develop personalized treatments for conditions like lymphedema. Depending on how bad your lymphedema symptoms are and other factors like age and health, your treatment may include some of the following:

  • Exercise – Exercising and moving the swollen limb helps the lymph fluid drain, which should help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Deep tissue massage – Physical therapists specialize in manual therapy and deep tissue massage that helps promote lymph fluid drainage.
  • Compression – Wrapping and compressing the affected limb encourages lymph fluid to continue moving rather than building up and swelling in one area.

Our team also offers aquatic therapy as a part of many of our treatments. Your physical therapist may recommend aquatic therapy for you. Exercising in water allows you to perform motions for your lymphedema therapy while providing pressure from the water to help reduce swelling and pain.

Are your legs or arms swelling due to lymphedema? Speak with one of our team members at Peak Performance Physical Therapy to discover how our team may assist you. Contact us today to schedule your appointment at one of our six locations in Eastern North Carolina.