Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care

151 West Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45216 | (513) 418-2500

Lymphedema Therapy

Lymphedema is typically a chronic condition that involves swelling in the arms, legs or trunk. The swelling is due to an accumulation of lymph fluid under the skin and is different from the swelling caused by heart or kidney failure–these conditions should be ruled out by a physician prior to seeking lymphedema treatment.

Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care has certified lymphedema physical therapists that use a technique called Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which is considered the gold standard of care for people with lymphedema. This approach combines a gentle massage called manual lymph drainage with skin and nail care, home exercise, and compression bandages to effectively manage the edema (swelling). These techniques can increase mobility and function, aid in wound healing and allow for long-term management of this condition. Treatment begins with a therapist-guided program to decrease swelling and, through education and patient/family training, progresses to a patient-guided program to maintain limb volume and skin health.

To increase the ease of controlling lymphedema, the therapist may recommend devices to assist with long-term management including compression garments or other compression devices.  If needed, the therapists can work in conjunction with the wound care team at the Daniel Drake Center to incorporate wound care and dressing changes into the treatment sessions.