Lymphedema is a swelling condition that commonly occurs in the arm and leg. If left untreated, it can lead to progressive tissue swelling.
While it is not curable, lymphedema can be treated to alleviate pain and swelling and reduce the risks of infection.
Many people with the condition benefit from lymphedema physical therapy.
What Causes Lymphedema?
Lymphedema can result from damage or trauma to the lymphatic system or removal of lymph nodes. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and helps fight off illnesses and infections.
When the lymphatic system is damaged or not working well, lymphatic fluid can build up in the affected area and cause swelling.
In addition, lymphedema can lead to open wounds, skin discoloration and infection that can result in loss of mobility. In certain cases, surgery is an option.
What Is Lymphedema Therapy?
Lymphedema therapy focuses on relieving swelling in the arms and legs by moving lymphatic fluid out of the affected limbs. It can also prevent additional swelling.
Therapy may also include lymphedema exercises, education to prevent complications, skin care, and hygiene recommendations.
What Can I Do About Lymphedema At Home?
People with lymphedema can do many things to help manage the condition including taking care of your skin by applying lotion in your affected body part to prevent dry skin and help avoid infections, taking care of your whole body by eating healthy, including less salt and more vegetables and fruits, and managing stress and trying to get good sleep at night.
Exercising can also help reduce swelling. However, you should always call your doctor if you have symptoms that could be from an infection, such as fever, redness or increased pain, open sores or areas of broken skin.
If you’re interested in pursuing lymphedema care, then call Herrera Reconstructive Surgery at (301) 739-7790 to schedule a consultation today!