Special thanks to Alpine's Lymphedema Specialist, Antara Quiñones, DPT, for submitting this article for publication.
While cancer treatment is the leading cause of Lymphedema in the United States, it is not the only cause. Other cases of lymphedema arise due to hereditary conditions, venous issues, and even a mosquito-born parasite called filariasis.
Congenital lymphedema effects five to 10 percent of the United States population and impacts females more than males. It typically presents at puberty and can (rarely) show up later in life.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency if left unchecked can eventually overwhelm the lymphatic's buffer system. If caught early enough and treated with venous intervention therapies and compression garments, the lymphatic system can correct itself.
However, if vein treatment, diuretics, and compression are no longer working then the lymphatic system is likely overwhelmed and would benefit from Complete Decongestive Therapy.
Fortunately for the United States, filariasis has been eradicated and is not typically an issue.
If you have questions regarding chronic swelling, you are invited to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with our lymphedema specialist by calling 406-541-2606.
For more information on Alpine’s approach to Lymphedema Management, click here to visit our webpage devoted to this topic.
Cancer treatment is the leading cause of lymphedema (limb swelling) in the United States.
Alpine Physical Therapy's Lymphedema Management Program is helping survivors better manage their risk by providing the gold standard treatment of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT).
There are two phases of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT):
Phase 1: Intensive CDT
Phase 1 CDT focus is moving lymph fluid out of the arm, hand, or other part of the limb to reduce swelling and other symptoms of lymphedema.
Phase 2 CDT focus is maintaining the results of Phase 1 on your own.
To learn more about CDT we invite you to stop by for a free 15-minute consultation. Antara Quiñones can be reached at Alpine’s North Clinic (406-541-2606) or click here for a full description of Alpine Physical Therapy's Lymphedema Management Program.
It’s apparent within minutes of meeting Hannah Clark that she has a burning desire to succeed by working and playing hard. She enjoys her work with the USFS, sometimes 10 to 14-hour shifts, climbing, hiking, scrambling around mountains marking timber and gathering data. When at home, she is planting, painting, demoing, or building around her property. When at play, she enjoys hunting, biking, rafting, yoga, running, and skiing.
When Hannah incurred a severe back injury in 2014, that led to a lumbar discectomy due to muscle loss in her leg, she was eager to get back to her active lifestyle. Unfortunately, at the beginning of her healing process, she faced insurance claim denials and slow healing. These challenges led to protective maladaptive patterns; movement impairments—pain avoidance behavior.
A year after the surgery, Hannah was still struggling with returning to her pre-injury state. She decided to look for a new Physical Therapist (PT) and chose Alpine Physical Therapy (Alpine PT) because she heard, "they do PT different”. At Alpine PT Hannah began to understand her body and her pain, she began to overcome deep seated maladaptive movement patterns which reduced her pain. She was told to relax, even slouch, and noted her muscle spasms and pain decreased when she followed this instruction. With the help of her PT, Sam Schmidt, MPT, at Alpine, Hannah learned how to trust her body again, how to control her body, and ultimately got her life back through movement.
Hannah is now stationed in some of the burliest mountains in Alaska, navigating remote terrain in harsh weather, and doing it without pain or fear (unless the brown bears are interested in her....). Hannah is a fine example of how movement and understanding pain can help heal and regain life. Thanks, Alpine PT and Sam!
Alpine Physical Therapy continues to run a state of the art Vestibular Rehabilitation clinic that helps Missoulians who suffer from vertigo, dizziness, imbalance, and spatial disorientation.
Demonstrated above is an example Vestibular Rehab exercise practicing dynamic balance movements while performing laser pointer coordination drills. This is an effective exercise we use to improve visual and proprioceptive (coordinating where your head is in space) using a laser pointer on a headlamp to improve balance and eye-neck-body coordination.
You're not alone! 69 million Americans suffer from dizziness or imbalance. Click here for more about the symptoms of a vestibular disorder or information on help that is available to you.
Brent Dodge is the founding owner of Alpine Physical Therapy and is a board certified orthopedic specialist. He holds additional certifications in Functional Dry Needling, Manual Physical Therapy, and Strength and Conditioning.
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