Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich lymphatic fluid in soft-tissue spaces of the body. The swelling is unlike swelling you may get after an injury to a joint. Stout says that lymphedema is when your muscles soak up lymphatic fluid like a sponge rather than holding it like a bucket.
Certified lymphedema therapists (CLTs), which include physical and occupational therapists, nurses, physician assistants and massage therapists, play a vital role in the treatment of lymphedema. Show this to patients to help them understand what their body is experiencing, what caused the condition and how they can manage treatment.
Nicole L. Stout, DPT, CLT-LANA, is an officer of the National Lymphedema Network Board of Directors and a consultant to the National Institutes of Health. She has provided ADVANCE readers with insight to the condition, which we’ve compiled into this handy infographic.