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Lymphedema Physiotherapy



Lymphedema refers to swelling generally in the arms or legs due to a blockage in your lymphatic system.

It's estimated that about one third (33%, one in three) of women who undergo axillary lymph node dissection during breast cancer treatment will develop lymphedema.

Identifying and treating lymphedema early helps ensure faster and better outcomes, but even treatment later on, during the chronic stages of the disease, can still help.

To determine if you have lymphedema, check with your physician or our senior physiotherapists immediately if you have swelling in one of your limbs and you:

  • Have cancer or have been treated for cancer
  • Have a cardiac, kidney, or liver condition

What is Lymphedema?

Our lymphatic system collects lymph (excess fluid, proteins, and other substances) from the body tissues and carries them back to the bloodstream.

This lymph is moved slowly through lymphatic vessels and is passed through the lymph nodes and swelling ("edema") may occur when the lymph increases in the body tissues.

Lymphedema occurs when the normal drainage of fluid is disrupted by a blockage or a cut in the lymph nodes in the groin area or the armpit.

Lymphedema can be a hereditary condition, but it's most commonly the result of blockages caused by

  • infection
  • cancer
  • scar tissue from radiation therapy or the surgical removal of lymph nodes

You're at greater risk for lymphedema if you:

  • Had surgical removal of lymph nodes in the underarm, groin, or pelvic region
  • Received radiation therapy to the underarm, groin, pelvic region, or neck
  • Have scar tissue in the lymphatic ducts, veins, or under the collarbones caused by surgery or radiation therapy
  • Have cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes in the neck, chest, underarm, pelvis, or abdomen
  • Have tumors in the pelvis, abdomen, or chest that involve or put pressure on the lymphatic vessels and/or the large lymphatic duct thereby blocking lymph drainage
  • Have inflammation of the arm or leg after surgery
  • Are older
  • Have an inadequate diet or are overweight, as these conditions may delay recovery from surgery and radiation therapy and may increase the risk for lymphedema

Signs and Symptoms

With lymphedema, you may have:

  • Swelling in your arms, legs, shoulders, hands, fingers, or chest
  • Skin that feels tighter, harder, or thicker than normal in the affected area
  • Aching or a feeling of heaviness in your arm or leg
  • Weakness in your arm or leg
  • Inability to move certain joints, such as your wrist or ankle, as freely as usual
  • "Pitting" in the tissues of your limb (an indentation that is made by pressing a finger on the skin that takes time to “fill in” after the pressure is removed)
  • Clothing, rings, bracelets, or shoes that fit tighter than before
  • Repeated infections in your arm or leg
  • Joint pain
  • Difficulty doing your daily activities

If you have fever and chills, and your limb with lymphedema is red, swollen, or painful, and feels warm to the touch, you may have an infection.

How Is It Diagnosed?

Our senior physiotherapist will review your medical history and medications and perform a thorough physical examination that includes the following information:

  • Your actual weight compared with your ideal weight
  • Measurements of your arms and legs
  • How well you’re able to do activities of daily living
  • History of edema, previous radiation therapy, or surgery
  • The time between surgery and when you first noticed the swelling
  • Other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, heart disease, or phlebitis (inflammation of the veins)

how our senior physiotherapists and senior massage therapists can help

Our senior physiotherapist will serve as an important member of your health care team and will work closely with you to design a treatment program to help control the swelling and meet your goals for returning to your activities.

In the early stages of lymphedema, when the swelling is mild, it can often be managed by compression garments, exercise, and elevation of the affected limb to encourage lymph flow.

For more severe swelling, we may use a treatment called "complete decongestive therapy."

The initial step often includes manual lymphatic drainage, which feels like a light form of massage and helps improve the flow of lymph from your arm or leg. This is followed by compression bandaging that helps to reduce the swelling.

We will carefully monitor the size of the limb throughout your treatment sessions.

Once the limb has decreased to the desired size, we will help you begin to take over your own care by:

  • Developing a safe and sensible exercise program that will increase your physical fitness without unnecessarily straining your affected arm or leg
  • Updating your compression garments to ensure proper fitting, working with you to find the type of garment that best meets your needs
  • Educating you about proper diet to decrease fluid buildup in your tissues and skin care to reduce the risk of infection


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book your physio appointment or enquire now

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here

Phoenix Rehab physio Services

Phoenix Rehab Group works with specialist physiotherapists and rehab therapists who are highly trained, qualified, experienced and passionate to provide high level of expert care to our patients.



HAND THERAPY &  SPLINTING

Patients who sustained injuries to their elbows, forearms, hands, wrists (sprains and fractures) and fingers, and requires Hand Therapy to increase the function of their hand following injuries or post-operations as well as custom made hand splints.

Commonly treated hand pain injuries includes



CLINICAL PILATES & WELLNESS PILATES

Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on

  • posture
  •  core stability
  • balance
  • control
  • strength
  • flexibility and
  • breathing

It is a system of safe and effective exercises, which meet specific individual needs, to treat a wide range of injuries and conditions.

You may do Pilates as matwork or with the reformer or both, and every session will be customized 100% to your fitness, injury and tolerance.



TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM)



DEEP TISSUE RELEASE & SPORTS MASSAGE THERAPY

Sports and deep tissue release massage helps to increase nutrient-rich blood flow to tired, tight and tense muscles to

  • accelerate recovery and
  • shorten downtime / recovery period required

It also prevents muscles from scar tissue micro-tears (and potential ruptures), and increases muscle performance.

Done regularly, it will keeps your muscles healthy and fit with body/movement-confidence. Read the benefits of regular deep tissue release therapy here.



ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

All our allied health therapists and TCM physicians are fully insured and registered with Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Board (TCMB).

See our entire team here with introductions and their specializations.

At the first session, our specialist physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment, helping them to select the most appropriate treatment to help you recover as well as provide treatment in the same session.

Follow up sessions are inline to provide expert treatment for your pain as well as prescribing specific exercises to reduce your risk of re-injury and giving you a long term solution.

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We appreciate you as our valued clients and want you to know that the #1 way we grow as a clinic/brand is through word of mouth referrals from valued patients like yourself.

We do not rely on advertising - instead, we prefer and appreciate the goodwill and positive reinforcement from patients. When you have the chance, please tell your family, friends and physicians about the positive results and experience you have had in our physio clinics.

book your physio appointment or enquire now

Email questions and your preferred physiotherapy timings to nigel@phoenixrehabgroup.com or

WhatsApp / SMS your name, preferred date, time and enquiries to +6588001830

Clinic Locations: See how to get to us here