Victoria LaManna PT, DPT, CLT
March 6th is Lymphedema Awareness Day! The lymph system carries the body’s waste products, dead pathogens, and water. Eventually these substances are cleared by the body. Problems can occur if the lymph system gets blocked and cannot clear these substances. Problems with the lymphatic system can cause swelling in affected limbs, and sometimes pain, as well as fibrotic changes in the skin.
You can be born with issues in your lymph system which can cause primary lymphedema or you can have damage to your lymph system because of surgery or radiation treatments, especially for breast cancer.
If you are living with lymphedema, try these tips from the Mayo Clinic to keep your limbs as healthy as possible:
- Avoid injections, vaccinations, blood pressure monitoring, or IV’s on the affected limb
- Don’t wear tight fitting clothing or jewelry
- Avoid exposure to extreme temperatures, like hot baths, or saunas
- Monitor your affected limb for signs of infection, and go to the doctor if you suspect infection
You can also check out our list of Self Care Tips
Physical therapy can help manage lymphedema, which requires a very specialized lymphedema certified therapist. At Beyond Basics Physical Therapy, we are lucky to offer lymphedema treatment with our own Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Victoria LaManna, PT, DPT, CLT . If you are interested in starting your lymphedema treatment journey, call and make an appointment with Victoria today!
For more reading on lymphedema, check out our previous blogs:
Ness S. Living with lymphedema: Take precautions, get support. 2011. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/expert-blog/lymphedema-management/bgp-20056387. Accessed February 10, 2017