Lymphedema Management Program (Upper Extremity)

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Do you notice any of the following symptoms?

  • Swelling in the arm, hand or fingers caused by impairment of the lymphatic system
  • Heaviness of the arm and/or hand
  • Tightness in the arm, hand and/or fingers

Therapy may help you to have:

  • Decrease and maintain the size of your arm and hand
  • Improve function, motion and coordination of the upper extremity
  • Learn to manage the symptoms on your own
  • Learn methods to enhance performance of daily activities at home, work and leisure

Our Occupational Therapists (OTs) are trained and certified in lymphedema management. They will work with you to design a therapy program especially for you.

Therapy often includes:

  • Manual lymphatic drainage (a gentle massage-like technique) to decrease size of your arm
  • Therapeutic wrapping to help reduce lymphedema
  • Personalized therapeutic exercise program to increase and maintain active range of motion of the upper extremity
  • Instruction in skin care and other precautions

Occupational therapy sessions often start with 5 times per week and generally decrease in frequency over 6 weeks. Obtain a prescription for therapy from your physician and schedule time for an evaluation so your therapist can listen to your concerns and evaluate your performance.

References: Lymphedema & Breast Cancer

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