What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is an abnormal buildup of fluids and waste from cells accumulated in the body’s tissues. It occurs when the lymph system is unable to work properly. Lymph nodes and vessels are part of the lymphatic system carrying fluid to the blood stream. Nodes create an immune response to fight foreign cells of cancer, bacteria or viruses. Often damage is caused to the lymphatic system through radiation, infection, surgery or accidents. Lymphedema is a chronic condition in which there is no cure.

What are the symptoms?

Redness or inflammation of a limb or limbs, 100.5 fevers not related to any other illness, feeling of tight skin, and loss of flexibility in hands or feet, swelling extremities, swollen fingers, wrists and/or feet lasting over several days.

What treatment is available?

Perry Medical Rehabilitation/Occupational Therapy will work with you to develop an individualized program to suit your lifestyle and physical limitations. Increasing your body’s mobility will result in reduced swelling and infection occurrences, resulting in a better quality of living for the long term.

  • Therapeutic exercise including range of motion, stretching and strengthening
  • Compression therapy accompanied by manual lymph drainage
  • Fitting for proper compression stockings and/or sleeves
  • Patient education to maintain decreased edema, posture re-education, body mechanics, skin care

How do I learn more?

Call 815-876-4494 and ask to speak to Courtney Engel, OTR/L, to learn more information about how we can help you.