Symptoms of lymphedema can be alleviated through physical therapy! In the United States, lymphedema in the arm resulting from Breast Cancer Treatment is the most common type. The most common type of secondary lymphedema in the world is caused by a parasite that is transmitted by mosquito bites in third world countries.
◊ Primary lymphedema is lymphatic compromise that is not directly related to another medical condition or insult to the system.
◊ Secondary lymphedema results from a medical procedure or outside damage sustained to the lymphatic system.
◊ Lipo-Lipedema is abnormal accumulation of fat cells just below the skin’s surface in the hips and legs. This typically results in a body style with wide hips and small waist with the hips remaining large (despite weight loss). These abnormal fat cells cause a compromise in the superficial lymphatic vessels and leads to lymphedema. Treatment for this condition is the same as for primary and secondary lymphedema.
Lymphedema symptoms may be reported with any of the following symptoms, and lymphedema physical therapy can help alleviate these symptoms:
◊ Increased limb size
◊ Abdominal Swelling
◊ Pain in affected joints
◊ Tightness in skin
◊ Firming of skin (fibrotic tissue)
◊ Decreased range of motion in affected areas
As defined above, lymphedema diagnoses fall into three main categories, and physical therapy can help alleviate the symptoms:
◊ Primary lymphedema
◊ Secondary lymphedema