Lymphedema Therapy Specialist in Hinsdale, IL
Are you experiencing hard or tight skin, folds developing in the skin, wart-like growths developing on the skin, and fluid leaking through the skin? These might be the symptoms of Lymphedema. Consult our Lymphedema Therapy Specialist at Progressive Physical Therapy and get yourself treated. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 15 Spinning Wheel Road Ste. 24 Hinsdale, IL 60521.
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Lymphedema is most commonly associated with the swelling of limbs, hands, or feet and is often just treated with the use of compression garments such as socks, stockings, or sleeves. The condition of lymphedema is the swelling that is caused by the lymph fluid not being able to drain properly in the body.
The lymph nodes are what drain lymph fluid in the body, and sometimes the lymph nodes get clogged, causing a build-up of the fluid most frequently in the arms or legs. The lymph fluid needs to move freely throughout the body to ensure that the waste products and bacteria are moved to the liver and kidneys to be properly removed from the blood. Typically, there is a cause for the lymphatic fluid build-up that is indicative of damage within the lymph system, which may require further treatment.
Lymphedema therapy may be necessary to help drain lymph fluid properly in the body if it has built up. To help with the draining process, often a combination of physical therapy and bandages move the fluid from the area that is affected by the lymphedema. Physical therapy is a great way to exercise the affected areas by gently contracting the muscles to move the fluid and reduce swelling.
Therapists may also use their hands to massage the affected areas with a very light pressure to move the trapped fluid using the lymph vessels. The bandages (which can also be wearable garments) provide compression on the limb to encourage the fluid to flow from the swollen limb back into the rest of the body. For more serious lymphedema cases, surgery may be necessary to create new drainage paths or move the placement of the lymph nodes into the affected limb.
The most common treatment for lymphedema is known as complex decongestive therapy, which consists of manual lymphatic drainage, compression of the affected areas, and exercises to help prevent further build-up of fluid.
Manual lymphatic drainage is the use of gentle massage or manual pressure done by a professional to encourage the draining of fluid out of the affected area. Compression bandages or garments such as compression stockings, socks, or sleeves are used after the manual lymphatic drainage to help keep the swelling down by preventing fluid from flowing back in and getting trapped again.
Exercise is included in treatment to maintain the effects of the manual lymphatic drainage and compression garments. These exercises create a natural internal pumping mechanism that will help to keep the fluid moving around and prevent it from being trapped in the affected area again.
Lymphedema therapy is a kind of decongestive therapy, in which the goal is to decrease swelling and prevent the fluid build from occurring in the area again. Manual draining often used as the primary step for lymphedema therapy is just physically decongesting the affected areas by manually moving the fluid that has been trapped there causing swelling, inflammation, and discomfort.
Many people will opt for compression garments as well for an effective and easier method of post-manual drainage therapies to keep the fluids flowing and prevent them from building up again. Decongestive therapy is most commonly used as lymphedema therapy because it is non-invasive and contains several different methods of drainage depending on the severity of the condition and the comfort level of the patient.
Lymphedema is most commonly first diagnosed by your primary care physician or a nurse as they would have received specific training and proper qualifications to recognize the symptoms, diagnose, and treat lymphedema. Being diagnosed requires a physical examination of your body, and a knowledge of your medical history, which means that diagnoses happen most frequently during check-ups with a primary care physician.
Your primary care physician or nurse will likely refer you to a specialist for lymphedema for a second opinion on your results and confirmation of the diagnosis. For more information, contact us today or book an appointment online. We are conveniently located at 15 Spinning Wheel Road Ste. 24 Hinsdale, IL 60521. We serve patients from Chicago IL, Oak Park IL, Lombard IL, Downers Grove IL, Bridgeview IL, and Oak Lawn IL.