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Lymphedema Therapy in Ottawa: Find Relief From Swelling And Discomfort With Physiotherapy

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Lymphedema is a painful, chronic illness that causes swelling due to the accumulation of fluid. Most of the patients get it as a result of lymphatic system damage caused by life-saving cancer treatment.

Our experts at Kent Chiro-Med can help you in managing lymphedema and avoid complications. We provide cutting-edge physiotherapy and chiropractic care to manage the symptoms. Contact us today to book an appointment. 

Our expert Chiropractors and Physiotherapists at Kent Chiro-Med Wellness Clinic (downtown Ottawa) routinely diagnose and treat patients suffering from lymphedema. Many patients rely on our expertise to achieve the following rehabilitation goals:

Causes Of Lymphedema

Lymphedema can be a hereditary condition. Sometimes, it is also caused by lymph vessel blockages resulting from an infection, malignancy, or scar tissue after radiation therapy. 

You are more likely to develop lymphedema if you:

  • Had surgery to remove lymph nodes from your underarm, groin, or pelvic area.
  • Radiation therapy was administered to your underarm, groin, pelvic region, or neck.
  • Scar tissue created by surgery or radiation therapy in the lymphatic ducts, veins, or under the collarbones.
  • Have tumors in the pelvis, abdomen, or chest. These tumors place pressure on your lymphatic veins and/or lymphatic duct, preventing fluid outflow.
  • Have an unhealthy diet or are obese. It can cause a delay in recovery from surgery and radiation therapy, as well as an increase in the risk of lymphedema.
Causes Of Lymphedema
Symptoms of Lymphedema

Symptoms of Lymphedema

  • Arms, legs, shoulders, hands, fingers, chest, or neck swelling.
  • The skin seems tighter, more rigid, or thicker than normal in the affected area. 
  • Aching, tingling, or a heavy feeling in the arm or leg.
  • Muscle weakness in the arm or leg.
  • Inability to freely move particular joints, such as the wrist or the ankle.
  • Pitting (indentation) in the limb’s tissues (caused by pushing a finger on the skin, which takes time to “fill in” after pressure is removed).
  • Clothing, jewelry, bracelets, and footwear fit tighter than before.
  • Multiple infections in the arm or leg.
  • Joint discomfort.
  • Difficulty performing everyday tasks.

Classification Of Lymphedema

Lymphedema is classified into two types: primary lymphedema and secondary lymphedema. The causes of both of these are different: 

1. Primary Lymphedema

Primary lymphedema is caused by mutations in genes that develop the lymphatic system. It is mostly a hereditary condition. 

2. Secondary Lymphedema

Secondary lymphedema often occurs after a person has been treated for cancer. The treatment often damages lymph nodes that can result in lymphedema. Some of the most common causes of secondary lymphedema are surgery for cancer, radiotherapy, infections, inflammation, venous disease, obesity, trauma, and immobility.  

Why Our Lymphedema Treatment is the Best Choice for You

Visit our downtown Ottawa location for treatment options. We pride ourselves on our treatment facilities and expertise, which can help you as follows:

Patient-Centred Care

Our compassionate physiotherapists offer comprehensive, patient-centered care for the treatment of lymphedema. 

Comprehensive Treatment

Our chiropractors and physiotherapists are experts in physical therapy. Depending on your conditions, we can prepare a comprehensive treatment plan for addressing different issues. 

Cutting Edge Technology

We are equipped with advanced technology for the treatment and management of lymphedema.

Expert and Certified Physiotherapists

Our physiotherapists are certified and trained to manage your condition. We ensure that you get the right treatment for your condition. 

Treatment Options

Treatment for lymphedema varies from physical therapy to exercises, depending on your situation

DLT (Decongestion Lymphedema Therapy)

 For moderate to severe lymphedema, decongestion lymphedema therapy is used. This treatment mobilizes lymph and reduces fibrosclerotic tissue.DLT is performed in two steps; the first step involves manual lymphatic drainage and gentle massage followed by the second step that involves compression bandaging.  

Decongestion Lymphedema Therapy
Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)

Manual Lymphatic Drainage is a gentle, skin-stretching massage that promotes lymphatic fluid circulation away from the swollen limb. It is different from conventional massage and focuses only on the lymph vessels to facilitate the movement of lymphatic fluid. This can be supplemented with more massages to encourage relaxation and enhance circulation.

Compression Clothing

Your physiotherapist may recommend a compression garment to reduce swelling. We advise our patients the following while using compression garments.  

  • The garment should be comfortable. 
  • Do not insert anything under your clothing. 
  • If your clothing is too tight, or uncomfortable, elevate your limb, and move it gently. You can wiggle your fingers, or bend and straighten your elbow and knee. 
  • While wearing a lower limb compression garment, if you develop sudden discomfort in the calf, remove the garment immediately and seek medical assistance. 
  •  Remove the compression garment before bath. After bathing, perform your prescribed skin care and self-massage. Completely dry the affected area before reapplying the compression garment.  
  • Follow the optimal wear time for compression garments. You may need greater compression while traveling. 

Exercise for Lymphatic

We recommend certain exercises for our Lymphedema patients to stimulate their muscles, boost lymph flow, and transport lymph fluid away from the swollen spot. These exercises can also help in maintaining a healthy weight and reducing lymphedema swelling. Your joints remain flexible and your range of motion is enhanced. These exercises can also improve self esteem and reduce anxiety. Depending on your particular situation, our physiotherapist can recommend which exercise you should do and how many times a day you should perform those exercises. 

Pneumatic Compression or Pressure Therapy

Pressure therapy is a treatment method that uses compressed air pumps. These compressed air pumps are used to apply pressure to limbs with edema.

Gentle Massage

Gentle massage can also help in reducing discomfort in the affected area. When regularly done, it can help in improving mobility and reducing swelling in the affected area.

Rising Prevalence Of Lymphedema in Canada

  • Around 1 million Canadians are impacted by lymphedema.  
  • According to a research, 20.6% of the Candians suffering from lymphedema reported that their work life or job was impacted by it. 
  • 26.8% of the Lymphedema patients reported that their family income was adversely affected by it. 
  • Physical therapy, and exercises can significantly help lymphedema patients 

Frequently Asked Questions

There’s no single answer to it. As each person is unique with different symptoms and conditions, the treatment plan will also vary.  

Physiotherapy is a safe and natural technique to treat the symptoms of lymphedema. Although lymphedema can’t be cured, its symptoms can be managed with proper care.  


Are You Ready To Live a Pain-Free Life?

Recovering your muscle strength after lymphedema therapy is a time-taking process.
To get the best possible treatment:

Ready for your first treatment? Don’t delay any further.