Lymphedema is chronic swelling due primarily to a failure or blockage of the lymphatic system. Treatment consists of a short- and long-term technique called Combined Decongestive Therapy (CDT), recognized as the most effective and least invasive approach to the treatment of lymphedema. It consists of the following steps.
- Evaluation by a specially trained therapist
- Manual Lymphatic Treatment (MLT)
- Compression bandaging and compression garments
- Therapeutic exercise
- Skin and nail care
At Rex Outpatient Rehabilitation, a licensed therapist who has been specially trained in CDT will perform your treatment. Your therapist will have completed a minimum of 90 to 135 hours of comprehensive, hands-on training in CDT techniques.
Manual Lymphedema Treatment (MLT) – MLT is a gentle manual pressure that helps your damaged lymphatic system drain. The therapist's hands help stimulate the surface levels of the system to develop new drainage routes, helping with long-term management of swelling.
Therapeutic Exercise – Your therapist may prescribe gentle exercise to aid in your treatment. The gentle pumping action of your muscles underneath compression bandages or garments stimulates the pumping action of your lymphatic system, which further promotes lymph drainage.
Compression Bandaging – The application of compression bandages helps maintain treatment results. The bandage continues the pressure on the lymphatic system to allow the drainage process to continue.
Aquatic Therapy – Aquatic therapy is an excellent supplement to CDT. At Rex, we offer aquatic therapy as an adjunct to traditional treatment, if needed. The hydrostatic pressure of the water enhances lymphatic return and thus can assist in edema reduction and control. The water also offers assistance in regaining range-of-motion. Aquatic therapy requires a prescription from your doctor. Learn more about our Aquatic Therapy services.
Lymphedema Evaluation and Treatment is currently offered at our Wakefield and Raleigh locations.