33650 6th Ave S, Ste 114, Federal Way, WA 98003 253-942-3308

Helping You Manage Lymphedema and Venous Insufficiency

In Federal Way, many people suffer from lymphedema and venous insufficiency – two conditions affecting circulation, which result in swelling of an arm or legs. Prompt treatment by a specially trained physical therapist can help to reduce swelling and minimize the long-term effects and symptoms.

What is Lymphedema

Lymphedema is chronic (long term) swelling, normally of an arm or a leg. It occurs most often in women after damage or surgical removal of lymph nodes in the treatment of breast cancer. Lymphedema can occur after any treatment involving the lymph nodes, including melanomas, and prostate cancer in men.

When lymph nodes have been blocked or removed, the remaining lymph system has a decreased ability to remove excess fluid. This can occur shortly after cancer treatments, or as long as 20 years later. If left untreated, the swelling can worsen over time. Additionally, chronic edema in the legs can develop due to circulatory compromise such as with venous insufficiency or cellulitis.

Helping You Manage Lymphedema and Venous Insufficiency

In Federal Way, many people suffer from lymphedema and venous insufficiency – two conditions affecting circulation, which result in swelling of an arm or legs. Prompt treatment by a specially trained physical therapist can help to reduce swelling and minimize the long-term effects and symptoms.

What is Lymphedema

Lymphedema is chronic (long term) swelling, normally of an arm or a leg. It occurs most often in women after damage or surgical removal of lymph nodes in the treatment of breast cancer. Lymphedema can occur after any treatment involving the lymph nodes, including melanomas, and prostate cancer in men.

When lymph nodes have been blocked or removed, the remaining lymph system has a decreased ability to remove excess fluid. This can occur shortly after cancer treatments, or as long as 20 years later. If left untreated, the swelling can worsen over time. Additionally, chronic edema in the legs can develop due to circulatory compromise such as with venous insufficiency or cellulitis.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Lymphedema

If you notice any swelling or a feeling of heaviness in an extremity, seek medical advice from your doctor. If lymphedema is diagnosed, it is essential to seek treatment immediately. Promptly initiating lymphedema treatment ensures better outcomes and decreased treatment time.

Decongestive Physical Therapy

Decongestive Physical Therapy is a treatment to move lymphatic fluid out of the arm or leg using techniques such as:

  • Lymphatic massage
  • Exercise
  • Compression bandaging
  • Compression garments

Treatment is aimed at teaching you to treat your edema independently. The daily time involvement varies for each patient. We will help you develop an individualized program for managing your lymphedema.

What is Venous Insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a condition where the flow of blood through the veins is inadequate, causing blood to pool in the legs.

Veins have valves that keep blood moving in one direction, toward the heart. In venous insufficiency, the valves in the veins of the leg are impaired, allowing blood to pool, most commonly in the ankles and calves. This is often caused by a blood clot, varicose veins, weight, or inactivity.

Symptoms of Venous Insufficiency

Symptoms of venous insufficiency may include:

  • Swelling in the ankles, calves, or both
  • Aching or feeling of heaviness
  • Varicose veins
  • Skin sores
  • Changes in skin color
  • Itching
  • Cramping

Treatments for Venous Insufficiency

Treatments for venous insufficiency are similar to the treatment of lymphedema, and may include exercise and compression garments.

What to Expect from Your Physical Therapist

During each treatment session, you will work for the full hour of your appointment with a specially trained physical therapist in our Federal Way clinic. Your physical therapist will work with you to create a home program tailored to your specific needs and lifestyle, to help you manage your lymphedema so you may reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

Meet Laney O’Neill, MPT

Laney graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2002 with a Masters in Physical Therapy. She is a highly experienced orthopedic therapist, drawing from a blend of manual therapy approaches.

Laney specializes in lymphedema, practicing in this field since 2004. She treats patients with cancer, as well as orthopedic and venous based edemas of all extremities. Prevention and education are at the core of her practice, ensuring each patient has the tools and resources to treat and maintain this lifelong condition.

Wellspring Mission

Whether an active lifestyle means high intensity sports or a leisurely walk, you deserve a rehabilitation program that fits your special needs, goals, and way of life.

At Wellspring Physical Therapy, we strive to exceed your expectations and get you back in action as quickly as possible.

Our mission is to provide one-on-one care, utilizing advanced clinical skills and technology, and a comprehensive treatment approach that focuses on the whole patient. We are dedicated to continuous learning and growth in order to meet the changing needs of our patients.

Contact us today for more information and to schedule an appointment to address your lymphedema or venous insufficiency.

Meet Laney O’Neill, MPT

Laney graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2002 with a Masters in Physical Therapy. She is a highly experienced orthopedic therapist, drawing from a blend of manual therapy approaches.

Laney specializes in lymphedema, practicing in this field since 2004. She treats patients with cancer, as well as orthopedic and venous based edemas of all extremities. Prevention and education are at the core of her practice, ensuring each patient has the tools and resources to treat and maintain this lifelong condition.

Wellspring Mission

Whether an active lifestyle means high intensity sports or a leisurely walk, you deserve a rehabilitation program that fits your special needs, goals, and way of life.

At Wellspring Physical Therapy, we strive to exceed your expectations and get you back in action as quickly as possible.

Our mission is to provide one-on-one care, utilizing advanced clinical skills and technology, and a comprehensive treatment approach that focuses on the whole patient. We are dedicated to continuous learning and growth in order to meet the changing needs of our patients.

Contact us today for more information and to schedule an appointment to address your lymphedema or venous insufficiency.