Lymphedema is a condition which causes increased fluid buildup in tissues and can cause chronic swelling. Lymphedema is caused by impaired lymph vessels being unable to remove the fluid from the body’s tissues; this can occur anywhere in the body but most often causes a debilitating enlargement of the arms and legs. There is no cure for lymphedema; however, physical therapy can help to treat and control the symptoms and optimize function. Lymphedema can be a hereditary condition, but it is most commonly caused by a blockage from infection, cancer, scar tissue, radiation, or surgical removal of lymph nodes. Lymphedema will worsen if left untreated.

Your physical therapist will design an individualized program based on a thorough evaluation to treat and manage your symptoms. Physical therapy for lymphedema may include manual lymphatic drainage, compression bandaging, exercise, education, modalities, and compression garments. Functional limitations and secondary orthopedic conditions often occur with lymphedema. Coastal Rehabilitation provides comprehensive treatment in order to assist you to regain maximal function and quality of life.

In order to participate in physical therapy for lymphedema, it is important that you have stable cardiac and renal functions and be fully committed to managing your lymphedema.

Once you have started physical therapy, you will gain a better understanding of lymphedema and learn how to manage your symptoms. This will empower you to gain improved limb function and a healthier quality of life.

Lymphedema therapy is available in our Elizabeth City Office.

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At CRI, treatment sessions are typically 1 hour each, giving clinicians time to address both physical and functional impairments.