Lymphedema Therapy


Comprehensive Lymphedema Services

Munson Healthcare provides expert clinical care for even the most serious lymphedema conditions. Our certified lymphedema therapists provide rehabilitation therapies to offer relief and help better manage your lymphedema condition. If you are experiencing lymphedema symptoms after surgery, cancer, radiation treatment for cancer, or a serious infection, our team can help you.

Causes of Lymphedema

Lymphedema is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary lymphedema is caused by a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system and may be present at birth or develop later in life, often in puberty or during pregnancy. Primary forms usually affect the legs but may also be present in the arms.

Secondary lymphedema is more common and often the result of surgery or radiation therapy for cancer. Surgical procedures in combination with the removal of lymph nodes, such as a mastectomy or lumpectomy, are a very common reason for the onset of secondary lymphedema.

Symptoms of Lymphedema

If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms of lymphedema, it is important to see a specialist. Our team at Munson Healthcare can help relive these lymphedema symptoms:

  • Aching or discomfort in your arms or legs
  • Feeling of tightness in your arms or legs
  • Recurring infections
  • Restricted motion
  • Swelling of your arms or legs, including fingers and toes
  • Thickening of the skin

Early stages of lymphedema swelling may be temporarily reduced by simple elevation of the limb. Without proper treatment however, the initial swelling can lead to other issues and complications can occur such as fungal infections. Our team is here to help you with treatment and rehabilitation therapies for lymphedema.

Range of Treatments Available

Munson Healthcare provides expert clinical care and certified lymphedema therapists to help better manage your individual condition. We provide a variety of treatments for lymphedema, including:

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD): This gentle manual treatment technique is applied daily in the first phase of the therapy to reduce fluid build-up. Applied correctly, a series of MLD treatments decreases the volume of the affected extremity to a normal or near normal size.

Compression Therapy: The elasticity of the skin is damaged with lymphedema. In order to prevent additional fluid build-up, it is necessary to apply sufficient compression to the affected areas.

Exercise: A customized exercise program is designed by our lymphedema therapist for each patient. These exercises aid in the effects of the joint and muscle pumps and should be performed by the patient wearing the compression bandage or garment. We will carefully guide this therapy, so exercises are performed slowly and with both the affected and non-affected extremity.

Skin Care: The skin in lymphedema is very susceptible to infections and is usually dry. A low-pH lotion, free of alcohol and fragrances, should be used to maintain your skin moisture and avoid infections. If you have any concerns about your skin care, talk with your therapist.

Typical lymphedema rehabilitation includes 3 to 5 times per week for approximately 2 weeks at one of our convenient locations. We also provide instruction of techniques and exercises that you can conduct at home for optimal lymphedema management.

Enhanced Services in Kingsley and Traverse City in Collaboration With Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation 

Better-than-ever specialized and coordinated care is what our patients can expect with our expanded collaboration with one of the largest and most comprehensive rehabilitation hospitals in the United States. Our health care team works closely with experts from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation to enhance rehab services for our northern Michigan communities.

Our health care team includes physiatrists and physician assistants who provide integrated, coordinated, and high-quality rehabilitation. Their expertise includes complex medical conditions affecting the brain, spinal cord, nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

Our enhanced lymphedema rehabilitation therapy services are available in Traverse City.

Convenient Locations Available for Lymphedema Rehabilitation

For more information about Munson Healthcare’s specialized lymphedema services, contact a  team member at one of our convenient locations. Please click on a location below for more information and contact details.