Friday, August 9, 2013

What Treatments Are Available for Lymphedema?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for lymphedema. However, with early intervention and proper treatment, the condition can be controlled and minimized, allowing the individual to lead a full and normal life.

Treatment begins with a physicians referral to a lymphedema trained massage therapist. The therapist performs a thorough evaluation to determine a baseline of the individuals sensation, pain, range of motion, strength, skin integrity, and extent of swelling.

A treatment plan to decrease the swelling and improve the individuals ability to function may include:
  • Lymphatic manual drainage, or MLD, is a specialized lymphatic "massage," to move the extra lymph fluid through intact lymphatics and create new pathways for the lymph fluid to flow.
  • Compression bandaging to reduce swelling.
  • Exercise to improve functioning of the lymphatic system, range of motion, and strength.
  • Establishment of a good skin care program to decrease the chances of infection.
  • Recommendation of a compression garment and instruction for wear and care.
  • Thorough patient education regarding all of the above to promote independence with self-management of lymphedema.
Not all therapists have received special training to treat lymphedema, so it is important to select a therapist that is qualified to treat individuals suffering with the condition. At Ricky Knowles Hair & Wellness, we have several qualified therapists who have been trained and certified to treat lymphedema.  We have a BOC, ABC certified garment fitter, who is constantly troubleshooting to find clients the best solution in compression garments.  Our team would be happy to help you develop a customized plan to help you improve your mobility. Our insurance specialist will even submit your claims and serve as your patient advocate, ensuring that you receive your full insurance benefits.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 713-623-4247.

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