The condition known as lymphedema is caused by a blockage of the lymphatic system, a crucial part of the human immune and circulatory systems. This blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining and as the fluid builds up it causes swelling in a person’s arm or leg and in some cases both. Often caused by the removal or damage to lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment, lymphedema has no known cure but it can be controlled using the Casley-Smith method practiced by trained therapists at Integrated Rehabilitation Services in Connecticut. Lymphedema can also result from trauma, infection, immobility and chronic venous insufficiencies.
If left untreated lymphedema can progress into more complicated and painful conditions including significant cosmetic deformities, fibrosis, cellulitis, fungal infections, lymphangitis and lymphostatic elephantiasis. At Integrated Rehab we take a multifaceted approach to treating lymphedema known as Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) that involves manual lymph drainage, compression therapy, exercise, skin care and self-management education. Treatment for lymphedema focuses on reducing the swelling and controlling the pain. In extreme cases some doctors may recommend surgery to remove excess tissue in a patient’s arm or leg but again this will not cure lymphedema.
At Integrated Rehabilitation Services in Connecticut we offer lymphedema treatment by therapists certified in the Casley-Smith method and some of our therapists have gone on to become board certified by the Lymphology Association of North America. While lymphedema commonly occurs in the treatment of breast cancer it can result from any cancer and in some cases treatment involves surgery for lymph node removal and radiation therapy. If you live in Connecticut and suffer from lymphedema contact Integrated Rehab today and get started on effective treatment that will help reduce swelling and pain.