Edema and Lymphedema Therapy

Our Approach

Edema is swelling in any part of your body. Swelling may be caused by disease, birth defect, surgery, cancer treatment or other problems.

Lymphedema is swelling caused by a buildup of lymph fluid. The lymph system filters and drains excess fluid in your body. If the lymph system is damaged, the fluid builds up and causes swelling.

Swelling injures body tissue and increases your risk for infection. Tissues may harden over time, making treatment more difficult. It is important to start treatment in the early stages of edema or lymphedema. If you notice any swelling or issues with scarring from surgery, see your doctor and ask for a referral to edema care.

Conditions we treat

  • Chronic venous problems or post blood clot
  • Congenital (primary) lymphedema
  • Cording or auxiliary web syndrome (development of ropey tissue that feels web-like and restricts movement)
  • Decreased ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Nerve irritation: pain, numbness and tingling
  • Neurological conditions
  • Orthopedic swelling
  • Pain
  • Post-cancer treatment
  • Posture changes
  • Repeated cellulites
  • Scar adhesions/soft tissue restrictions in the treated areas
  • Trauma

Programs and services

Edema therapists are physical and occupational therapists with advanced training in edema treatment. Services provided include:

  • Education about lymphedema prevention and management
  • Exercises to help the lymph system drain fluid
  • Manual lymphatic drainage and bandaging
  • Nerve gliding exercises to help reduce nerve restrictions
  • Pain management
  • Range of motion, posture and strengthening exercises
  • Recommendations for custom medical compression garments to prevent fluid from refilling in the tissues
  • Soft tissue mobilization/scar management