Custom Care PT: Lymphedema

NEWSLETTER Health & Wellness Newsletter 2018


MANAGING LYMPHEDEMA AND HOW PHYSICAL THERAPY CAN HELP DON’T LET PAIN BECOME A WAY OF LIFE! Do you struggle with achy, swollen, and stiff joints? Do swollen limbs make activities like dressing or getting in and out of a car challenging? Lymphedema can make even the simple things in life difficult. If you live in the Forest Grove area and suffer with lymphedema, please call Custom Care Physical Therapy to arrange a free consultation to learn how physical therapy can help you manage your condition.

• Managing Lymphedema And How Physical Therapy Can Help • Patient Success Spotlight • Staff Spotlight • We Are Moving! • Relieve Lymphedema Pain In Minutes


• Manual Therapy • ASTYM • Massage Therapy • Parkinsons • Athletic Training

• Craniosacral Therapy • Myofascial Release • Muscle Energy Technique • N.A.I.O.M.T.


NEWSLETTER Health & Wellness Newsletter

What Is Lymphedema? You have an intricate network within your body known as the lymphatic system. Comprised of a variety of organs, tissues, nodes, and vessels, the lymphatic system helps your body fight infections by transporting a special clear fluid, called lymph, around the body. Lymph contains white blood cells, protein and fat cells of the immune system. Your lymphatic system also helps expel toxins and unwanted waste and returns fluids into the bloodstream. Lymphedema (sometimes called lymphoedema or lymphatic edema) occurs when the lymphatic system becomes compromised in some way. This prevents the appropriate flow and drainage of lymph fluid and leads to fluid retention and swelling (edema). Common Signs of Lymphedema Because lymphedema causes fluid retention, swelling is the primary sign. Patients with lymphedema typically notice swelling in some or all of one or more limbs. Hands, fingers, feet, and toes can also become affected. Clinicians can quickly assess whether swelling is mild, moderate, or severe by measuring the affected limb. If swelling is significant, a visible indentation will be left behind when pressing a finger into the tissue, which can last anywhere from a brief second to thirty seconds or longer, depending on severity. This sign is known as pitting edema. The extra fluid retained with the lymph system often gives rise to a sense of achiness, tightness, heaviness, fullness, or soreness in the limbs. People often find that they have a hard time moving their limbs and may experience decreased or abnormal sensations, such as tingling or persistent itchiness. Additional signs and symptoms of lymphedema include hardening of the skin (fibrosis) and an increased risk and frequency of infections (given the lymph system’s intricate role in the body’s immunity). MANAGING LYMPHEDEMA AND HOW PHYSICAL THERAPY CAN HELP DON’T LET PAIN BECOME A WAY OF LIFE! (continued from outside)

Causes of Lymphedema Lymphedema is generally classified as either primary (occurring as its own entity) or secondary (occurring because of another underlying medical condition). Primary lymphedema is often due to: • Milroy’s disease, which leads to abnormally formed lymph nodes • Late-onset lymphedema, developing in people 35 years and up • Meige’s congenital disease, also known as lymphedema praecox, which develops during or before puberty • Cancer treatment, including radiation and surgical removal of lymph nodes for the purposes of biopsy (this is one of the most common causes of lymphedema) • Infection of the lymph nodes • Surgery or trauma that damages the lymph nodes and vessels • Obesity • Advancing age • Certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis Lymphedema is typically diagnosed using a combination of imaging, lab tests, patient history, and physical examination techniques. Secondary lymphedema is often due to: • Cancer of the lymph nodes

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How Physical Therapy Helps

Recommendations frequently include: • Stress management • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine (with physician supervision) • Use of compression stockings and other garments • Meticulous skin and nail care (keep nails trimmed, check skin for cracks and cuts, keep skin and nails clean) Research also indicates that physical therapy plays a major role in prevention of lymphedema, particularly when it relates to cancer. For instance, a 2008 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer found that early screening with a physical therapist can help prevent breast-cancer-related lymphedema from progressing into more severe stages. Struggling with Swollen Limbs Due to Lymphedema? Our Physical Therapist Staff Can Help You Manage Your Condition If you or a loved one are living with lymphedema, we encourage you to contact Custom Care Physical Therapy at 503-357-1706 to schedule an appointment with a physical therapist. Our non-invasive and individualized services can help you maximize your function and regain your active lifestyle. Call today! Sources: system.html Releases/Consumer/2008/5/21/ 3 8 1 6 3 4 4 7 5 3 6 7 5 9 6 2 7 9 7 5 8 4 2 6 7 1 4 6

Presently, there is no known cure for lymphedema. However, individualized physical therapy can help patients living with lymphedema manage their condition more effectively. The primary goal of lymphedema treatment is to promote lymphatic drainage, thereby reducing swelling and improving symptoms and function. Treatment may include:

• Skin care • Therapeutic exercises • Pneumatic compression (a specialized sleeve connected to a pump that intermittently compresses the affected limb) • Limb wrapping techniques with short stretch bandages—not ACE wrap • Manual lymphatic drainage It is extremely important that a person with lymphedema receives individualized instructions on proper limb wrapping and other interventions in ordertoavoidcomplicationsandtomakesuretheyhavenocontraindications, such as skin infections, acute inflammation, or thrombosis. Physical therapists also educate their patients living with lymphedema about proper self-care techniques that can help control symptoms and improve function. Discover How To Live Pain Free! At Custom Care Physical Therapy, you will receive hands-on therapy treatments by our friendly, caring physical therapists during focused and individualized sessions. Here are three steps you can take to live pain free.

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We Are Moving!

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CALL 503-357-1706 TODAY!

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Patient Success Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

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Mai Fee Physical Therapist

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“I’m very thankful for Custom Care Physical Therapy because I used to suffer from neck pain, headaches, back pain and I didn’t know it was because my posture was really bad compared to now. I have learned how to stretch my back and neck and the proper way to do my workouts too. Four weeks was enough to feel great. Thank you Custom Care and infinite thanks to Aaron.” - Araceli A. 4 3 3 7 2 7 2 4 3 “Four weeks was enough to feel great. Thank you Custom Care.” 5 9 1 6 2 4

Mai was raised in O’ahu, Hawaii. She received her Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Currently pursing the transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy from UniversityofSt.Scholastica.Shehasbeen inpracticesince1997.Obtaining residency training in Orthopedic Manual Therapy from Kaiser Hayward in 2006. Mai is a certified Level III Orthopedic Manual Therapist. As well as, a certified Lymphedema (swelling disorders) therapist. She’s passionate about helping her patients achieve functional goals. Furthermore, she enjoys educating patients regarding management of chronic conditions. Yet,promotingwellness remainsadeep interest forher.Maihasexperience workingwithorthopedic,neurological,andoncologicaldiagnoses.She lives in Hillsboro, Oregon with her family. Mai’s hobbies include hiking, theater, live music, and giving back to the community.


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Fun & Games

Relieve Lymphedema Pain In Minutes

Try this movement if you are experiencing pain from lymphedema.


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Try thissimpleexercise tokeepyou moving.Share thiswitha friendor family member tokeep themmoving too!

Relieve Lymphedema Pain

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Ball Squeeze—Seated Exercise Keep your back and neck straight and your shoulders relaxed. Grasp your exercise ball lightly between your palm and fingers. Extend your arm in front of you, holding your arm higher than your heart. While keeping your arm elevated, squeeze the ball with your fingers as tightly as you can. Hold the squeeze for about 3 seconds, then release. Repeat exercise 5 to 7 times.

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