Lymphedema Physical Therapy

EvergreenHealth therapists who perform lymphedema treatments are certified lymphedema therapists with specialized training.

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid within the tissue.

This happens when the lymphatic system has been impaired, and the amount of fluid is more than 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.

Categories of Lymphedema

  1. Lymphedema caused by structural impairments present from birth is categorized as primary lymphedema.
  2. Secondary lymphedema caused by injury and resulting damage to a healthy lymphatic system.

Some contributing factors leading to lymphedema include:

  • Surgical removal of lymph nodes
  • Radiation therapy to the breast and underarm
  • Trauma that disrupts an area of the body containing lymph nodes
  • Infection
  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency; if left untreated can progress into a combined venous/lymphatic disorder
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Early Onset Signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema 

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.

  • Unexplained heaviness or aching
  • Visible, persistent swelling in the limb or trunk
  • Tingling in the limb or limb pain
  • Clothing or jewelry fitting tighter
  • Skin feels taut

Lymphedema Decongestive Therapy

Lymphedema decongestive therapy offered at EvergreenHealth Rehabilitation Services includes:

  • Skin care education
  • Manual lymphatic drainage
  • Decongestive exercises
  • Compression bandaging
  • Compression garments
  • Home management program

To Begin Lymphedema Physical Therapy

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 425.899.3100.