What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is a condition that results in swelling in one of your arms or legs. And while this swelling is typically confined to just one extremity, it is possible for both arms or legs to become inflamed (see picture). The condition is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, which is a critical component of both the immune and circulatory systems. When there is an obstruction in the lymphatic system, fluid builds up, resulting in swelling.

Unfortunately there is no cure for lymphedema, but there are several steps you can take to diminish the affects of the condition. Exercise is one of the most commonly prescribed treatments, as it promotes the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system. Wrapping your arm or leg and getting a massage also promote fluid movement.  Of course, the best line of action is to combine several lymphedema therapies, which will produce the greatest results.



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