Lymphedema is a medical problem that is slowly gaining interest in the medical community. Even though it was first described in the late 1900's and a treatment has been around since 1937 (Dr. Emil Vodder), it has not been until the early 1990's that the treatment has set foot on American soil.
Initially massage therapist performed the treatment. Later physical therapist, occupational therapists and nurses became involved in practicing lymphedema therapy. Currently it is still very much an unknown therapy. Many patients and physicians are not aware of the fact that treatment is available.
If a physician initiates any kind of treatment besides the use of diuretics, it is often a prescription for a compression garment, most often referred to as a T.E.D. hose, or the prescription of a compression boot, which most often is translated into either a Una-boot or a compression pump.
The purpose of this course is to introduce a program for lymphedema treatment that works in an American setting. It is by no means intended to replace a fully accredited CDT certification course, which covers most subjects much more in-depth and therefore takes about 135 hours to teach. This course is meant as a tool for the clinician who occasionally may come in contact with a lymphedema patient and is looking for some basic tools.
Most of the materials presented in this course are based on the clinical work of the author. At times there may be a deviation form treatment protocols as described in the standard lymphedema books, this is mainly to adapt to an American setting in a for profit hospital.
This treatment approach is not only valuable for chronic lymphedema, but it has also proven valuable in the treatment of other circulatory disorders.
If this course awakens the interest in the clinician, it is highly recommended to read the books referred to in the bibliography or to take a certification course.