Case Study – Lymphedema

November 5, 2017 | By | Reply

– Dr. Sneha Parekh

Mrs. XYZ, a 33-year old businesswoman, came to PhysioRehab with complaints of:

  • Swelling in her entire left upper arm and hand
  • Feeling of fullness in the arm and forearm
  • On-and-Off pain in the left forearm
  • Reduced functional mobility of left arm and hand.

6 months ago she underwent surgery for breast cancer (removal of entire breast) and also treatment with radiations for the same. She is diagnosed with lymphedema.

Her lifestyle includes doing desk work at the office, and taking care of her 2 young children.



  • Lymphedema refers to collection of fluid that causes swelling in arms or legs.
  • In the surgery done for breast cancer, there is removal of lymph nodes which function to filter the fluid from all bacteria, viruses and foreign substances as it flows through the nodes.
  • In absence of normal lymph drainage, there is collection of fluid in the arm causing swelling.


  • Compression garments and sleeves – Wearing compression garments helps in increasing hydrostatic pressure which helps in draining of the fluid. The draining of swelling is enhanced by keeping the limb elevated.
  • Lymphatic drainage – manual lymphatic drainage technique involving light massage of the area was done which helped in reducing the swelling.
  • Kinesio taping – Lymphatic drainage technique of kinesio tapes helped in reducing the swelling by draining extra lymph fluid.
  • Upper body exercises:
    In the beginning phase of treatment range of motion exercises were started with the limb elevated. Progression of exercises was done by upper body strength and endurance training which included strengthening of the scapular muscles, shoulder muscles, arm and neck muscles.

After 4 weeks of treatment, there was significant reduction in the swelling . She no longer complained of the arm pain and the feeling of fullness. As her strength improved she could do her office work more efficiently.

At PhysioRehab we treat similar conditions and help making quality of life better by charting an individual program for each patient.

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Category: Case Studies

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