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Manual Lymph Drainage And Complete Decongestive Therapy

Written by Amy Hall
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Treating Lymphedema with Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy

Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy are part of an overall treatment plan for lymphedema patients. These two techniques work together to stimulate lymph flow throughout the body. Using gentle, sweeping motions, the therapist reduces swelling and congestion from the build-up of lymph fluid.

MLD is used in conjunction with compression therapy, which involves wrapping the affected extremity with a bandage or garment, such as compression sleeves or stockings. After a patient undergoes MLD and CDT in the therapist's office, he or she is wrapped with the compression garment, and then sent home with a treatment plan to be practiced on their own. This usually includes some remedial exercises, continued use of the compression garments, meticulous skin care and hygiene, as well as proper diet advice.

What Causes Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is often the result of a post-cancer surgery which involved the removal of some of the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are a major defense against infection, as they filter out bacteria and other particles from our system. When they are removed, lymph has a more difficult time traveling through the lymph vessels, and it can become stagnant, causing swelling and heaviness in the extremities.

If you are a health care professional and want to receive your Manual Lymph Drainage and Complete Decongestive Therapy certification, there are many schools nationwide that offer such courses and examinations. If you are a lymphedema patient, and need to find a therapist in your area, check online to find a listing of therapists in your area. MLD and CDT are wonderful techniques that have proven to be effective in the treatment of lymphedema.


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