Does Physical Therapy Work in Lymphedema?

Are you suffering from lymphedema? If you have swelling, which mainly occurs in one arm or leg, then you need to see your doctor as soon as possible to reduce the other risk factors. If you are left untreated, then you will have to face several other health conditions as well. Lymphedema is the most common cause of the removal of the damage to your lymph nodes as part of the cancer treatment. It is crucial to seek immediate treatment to reduce the risk factor of cancer and other health conditions.

Does Physical Therapy Work in Lymphedema

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What is Lymphedema? 

Lymphedema mainly refers to the swelling of the body parts, which generally occurs in one of the arms or legs. Lymphedema mainly occurs in your legs and arms. These are the most common health conditions caused by the removal or due to the damage of the lymph nodes as part of cancer treatment. Lymphedema mainly results from the blockage in your lymphatic system. If we talk about the lymphatic system, then it is part of your immune system. The blockage mainly helps. To prevent the lymph fluids from draining well and the fluid buildup leads to the swelling of your affected areas. Lymphedema is the swing of your arms and legs due to the disruption of the lymphatic system. 

Mainly this disruption causes fluid to accumulate under the skin. One of the most common causes of lymphedema is the removal of the lymph nodes. It can also be caused by obstruction of the blocked lymph fluid movement. According to the research, it was also found that about one in five women who are living with or beyond breast cancer or if that person had the lymph nodes in their underarm removed during the treatment process of cancer mainly develop lymphedema.

Lymphedema mainly develops three months to 20 years after cancer treatment. If you want to get rid of the lymphedema, then you will have to detect it earlier. Early detection of lymphedema will ensure more rapid and improved outcomes. Most doctors provide physical therapy programs to treat the case of lymphedema effectively. A physical therapist works very closely with you and other members of the health care team and ensures to help control swelling caused by the lymphedema and to meet your goals for returning to your activities. Allow your body to get rid of lymphedema with lymphatic drainage sf.

Types of Lymphedema

There are two types of lymphedema: Primary lymphedema and secondary lymphedema. Both damage the lymph vessels and lymph nodes which causes the blockage of the lymphatic system. 

Causes of Lymphedema

  • If you had surgery to revive the lymph nodes in the underarm, groin, or pelvic area, then you have a higher chance of lymphedema. 
  • But receiving radiation therapy after the cancer treatment then it can lead to lymphedema. 
  • If you have scar tissue in the ducts of the lymphatic system or veins or even under the collarbones, which are mainly caused by the surveyor radiation therapy, then it can cause lymphedema. 
  • By receiving taxane chemotherapy is another cause of lymphedema. 
  • Most of the time, it mainly develops if you have cancers that have spread to the lymph nodes in the neck, chest, pelvis, and other regions. 
  • Having tumors in the pelvis region is another cause of lymphedema. 
  • Most of the time, inflammation of the arm or leg after the survey can lead to lymphedema. 
  • Lymphedema is also caused due to the pore diet or being overweight. 

Signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema

With lymphedema, you may have the following symptoms:

  • Swelling in your arms or legs
  • Swelling in your shoulder region, hands, fingers, or even chest. 
  • Most of the time, you may see swelling in your neck region
  • Skin which feels tighter and harder than the North al in the affected region
  • Pain and aching is the common symptoms
  • Tingling or feeling that your arm or leg is heavy. 
  • Weakness in your arm or leg parts. 
  • If you see that your shoes or bracelet are tighter than usual. 
  • Repeated infection

Management of Lymphedema With Physical Therapy

Your physical therapist will help you to access the most effective treatment, and they will provide the best exercise or stretches tips that will help you to overcome the pain or stiffness. Physiotherapists are well-trained professionals who provide physiotherapy sessions that conservatively help you in solving your problems. Physical therapy will help you to remove the swelling in your arms or legs. The main reason for preferring physical therapy is that it will work more closely for your recovery and ensure to control the swelling and meet the goals of returning to normal activities.


Though you may seem to be completely affected by lymphedema, if you are looking for a comprehensive approach for the treatment of your condition, physical therapy is the best option. Begin your journey to relieve your pain with physical therapy.

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Article Author Details

Marilyn Jackson