EvergreenHealth therapists who perform lymphedema treatments are certified lymphedema therapists with specialized training.
Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid within the tissue.
If the lymphatic system has been impaired, the amount of fluid is greater than the capacity of the lymphatic drainage to transport it away. The buildup of fluid leads to swelling.
Lymphedema is a chronic condition, which will worsen over time if left untreated.
Lymphedema is classified into two categories:
Primary lymphedema is caused by structural impairments present from birth.
Secondary lymphedema occurs when a healthy lymphatic system has been injured, resulting in change. Some, not all, contributing factors leading to lymphedema include:
If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, you should seek medical advice to confirm the diagnosis and to see if a physical therapy referral is indicated.
Your therapist will perform an evaluation that includes baseline limb circumference measurements that can track changes in swelling and will also measure your joint range of motion and strength.
You and your physical therapist will discuss an individualized treatment plan that may include:
Skin care education
Manual lymphatic massage/drainage
A home management program
A physician referral is required for lymphedema therapy. Ask your provider to complete and sign our referral form. You can drop off the referral form at our office [Click for Directions] or fax it to 425.899.3670.
For more information about our outpatient rehab services, please call 425.899.1960.