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What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a persistent swelling of a body part due to a blockage in lymphatic flow when nodes or vessels are damaged or abnormal. The swelling may result in pain, decreased range of motion, and/or weakness. This results in the abnormal accumulation of protein.

What is lipedema?

Lipedema is a persistent swelling of a body part due to the accumulation of fatty tissue and fluid. This results in pain and also known as painful fat syndrome. It involves the hips, thighs, and ankles; the feet are not affected. Lipedema appears as a symmetrical ring of tissue around the extremity, and doesn't respond to weight loss. This is not a dysfunction of the lymphatic system but can contribute and initiate problems with lymphatic flow.


PRIMARY - from birth or developed later in life

  • Birth-developmental abnormality of the lymphatic system

  • Lymphatic vessels are impaired or missing

  • Praecox-appears in puberty and occurs mostly in females; typically, one leg is affected

  • Tarda- appears later in life, can be male or female, sudden onset swelling with no apparent cause


SECONDARY - lymph nodes were removed or lymph vessels damaged due to one or more of the following:

  • Surgery and/or radiation treatment of breast, gynecological, head, neck, prostate, testicular; bladder, colon cancer or melanomas

  • Trauma, injury or accident resulting in blocked/damaged lymph system

  • Infections-interrupt normal lymph pathway function

  • Tumors

  • Radiation Therapy

How do we treat Lymphedema?

  • Hands-on, one-on-one, 45-60 min in comfortable private treatment rooms

  • Complete Decongestive Therapy consists of Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and compression bandaging

  • MLD, soft tissue mobilization, scar mobilization

  • Compression bandaging and garments

  • Modalities, including cold laser, ultrasound, electrical stimulation

  • Therapeutic exercises, including range of motion, stretching and strengthening

  • Patient education to maintain decreased edema, posture re-education, body mechanics, skin care


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