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Combined Decongestive Physiotherapy

Most U.S. physicians have all but ignored Lymphedema, which is typically called the stepchild of modern medicine. An important fact to remember is that there is no cure for Lymphedema, only therapy. Today the most effective Lymphedema treatment is known as Combined Decongestive Physiotherapy (CDP). CDP effectively reduces swelling and reverses the tissue changes of Lymphedema. Depending on the severity of the condition, the intensive phase of the treatment is 3 to 5 times per week and lasts 2 to 4 weeks.

CDP Includes the Following Components:

Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD)

MLD is a specific pattern of very slow, light and rhythmic stretching of the skin in circular movements to stimulate the lymphatic vessels and nodes. The movement of the skin accelerates the re-absorption of tissue fluid into the lymphatic channels, increasing the effectiveness of excess lymph fluid filtered through the lymph nodes. Through consistent MLD, alternate pathways are created by re-routing stagnant fluid to healthy lymphatic vessels and nodes. MLD also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, and therefore, causes people to feel relaxed and often fall asleep during treatment.

Compression Bandaging

Compression by short stretch non-elastic bandages: We use short stretch bandages (Not ACE bandages) to prevent the re-accumulation of lymphatic fluid. Compression Bandages increase the efficiency of the muscle pumps and is used until the limb is sufficiently reduced to be fitted for compression garments. Bandages are worn overnight until the next CDP session. We have a huge selection in stock of all bandaging supplies necessary for therapy.

lymphedema compression bandaging


Meticulous skin and nail care inspection is essential to observe for any sign of bacterial or fungal infection. Before each session the skin is cleansed and pH balanced moisturizing lotion is applied to the skin.

We work along with local wound care centers and physicians following wound care protocols. If there are wounds present of any origin, each therapist is qualified and knowledgeable about caring for the wound with the appropriate products.

lymphedema patient education

Therapeutic Exercises

Remedial range of motion exercises; with the bandages in place enhance the movement of lymph fluid out of the limb by activating the muscle pump. Instruction in diaphragmatic breathing exercises improves lymphatic flow. Each exercise program is customized depending on the patient’s needs.

Patient Education

Lymphedema management is an ongoing process each patient is educated in a unique and specific program of self-care. The treatment program ensures that each patient remains confidently in control of his/her swelling and is able to maintain the progress gained in therapy.