Lymphedema Treatment

Personalised manual lymphatic drainage, compression therapy, and improve lymphatic flow.

What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is swelling in the arms or legs due to a disruption of lymph fluid flow through the lymphatic system. This disruption causes fluid to accumulate under the skin. The most common cause of lymphedema is the removal of lymph nodes. About one in five women who are living with or beyond breast cancer and who have had the lymph nodes in their underarm removed during breast cancer treatment will develop lymphedema. You can learn more about the causes and daily struggles of Lymphedema here.

Lymphedema may manifest as an inherited condition. However, it predominantly arises from obstructions in the lymphatic vessels caused by infections, cancer, and the formation of scar tissue resulting from radiation therapy or surgical removal of lymph nodes.

The likelihood of developing lymphedema is higher if you:

  • Underwent surgery to remove lymph nodes in the underarm, groin, or pelvic regions.
  • Received radiation therapy in the underarm, groin, pelvic area, or neck.
  • Have scar tissue in the lymphatic ducts, veins, or beneath the collarbones due to surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Received taxane chemotherapy.
  • Have cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes in the neck, chest, underarm, pelvis, or abdomen.
  • Have tumors in the pelvis, abdomen, or chest that exert pressure on the lymphatic vessels or ducts, hindering fluid drainage.
  • Experience inflammation in the arm or leg following surgery.
  • Are elderly.
  • Have an inadequate diet or are overweight. These circumstances may impede recovery from surgery and radiation therapy, increasing the risk of developing lymphedema.
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Is Lymphedema Physical Therapy Right For Me?

Physical Therapy can play a crucial role in helping with lymphedema, below are some ways physical therapy can treat symptoms:

  • Assessment and diagnosis: A physical therapist will conduct a thorough assessment of the affected limb(s) to determine the severity and extent of the lymphedema.
  • Education: A physical therapist will educate the patient about the causes and symptoms, as well as the importance of self-care and preventative measures.
  • Manual lymphatic drainage: A physical therapist can perform gentle massage techniques designed to stimulate the lymphatic system, promote lymphatic fluid flow, and reduce swelling.
  • Compression therapy: A physical therapist may recommend compression garments or bandages to help reduce swelling and prevent the accumulation of lymphatic fluid.
  • Exercise: A physical therapist can design an exercise program that helps to promote lymphatic fluid flow and improve muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Lifestyle modifications: A physical therapist can offer advice on lifestyle modifications, such as diet and hydration, that can help to manage symptoms.


Move better. Live better.

Move better.
Live better.

PhysioFit Physical Therapy & Wellness, much like Los Altos itself, combines an inviting, community environment with exceptional talent. Founded and led by Kim Gladfelter, a keen, well-rounded expert of healing through movement and a dedicated team who takes a holistic approach to optimal health.

Signs & Symptoms of Lymphedema

Swelling of part or all of the arm or leg, including fingers or toes.
A feeling of heaviness or tightness.
Restricted range of motion.
Recurring infections.
Hardening and thickening of the skin (fibrosis)

How Lymphedema Treatment Works:

Emotions you may be experiencing

  • Debilitated
  • Powerless
  • Irritated
  • Burdened

Understand your symptoms

  • Thorough talk with your therapist
  • Go over weak areas
  • See what causes pain
  • Test GAIT & balance
  • Determine lifestyle contributors
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Typical limitations with activities

  • Limited range of motion
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Compression garment dependency
  • Heat and humidity sensitivity
  • Occupational limitations
  • Exercise limitations
  • Psychological impact

Get the care you need

  • Get personalized treatment
  • Direct relationship with specialist
  • Review goals and set milestones
  • Focus on a holistic approach to your treatment

Get your desired outcome

  • Return to daily walks
  • Able to increase mobility to do yard work, cook, write, eat
  • Able to put rings back on
  • Able to work comfortably again at the computer
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What You Won't Get At PhysioFit

  • You won’t be treated by a physical therapist treating 2-4 other people in the same room.
  • You won’t waste time playing musical chairs on​ ​useless machines.​
  • You won’t be with a therapist for 5-10 minutes, where they show you the same basic exercises they give to everyone – regardless of what YOU might actually be going through.
  • Your treatment will NEVER be influenced by what an insurance company will cover.
  • We’ll never tell you, “This just happens as we get older, just take some pain medication.”

What Our Clients Say

  • I have been going to physiofit after trying several other centers that did not work for me. As an older adult in my 70’s I needed to find a therapist that really understood how to take care of my many pains and aches. This is not an easy therapist to find, I was looking for someone who both understands the anatomy of an older body but also has the caring touch and sweet demeanor. Well I was so happy to find Katrina who is all of those things she is the best therapist I have ever worked with and has completely help me transform my pain into exercises and stretches that truly support me in my healing. I could not recommend her enough she is caring, knowledgeable, and patient. I feel very grateful to her support in this process of healing my body. You will be glad to work with her. Thanks -maryam

    maryam motiee Avatar maryam motiee

    I've been coming for a few months now and I'm really impressed with the care I am receiving from Katrina. She gives me exercises that are challenging and helpful. I've already seen progress in the strength of my leg and a reduction in numbness in my foot from the disc pressure on my nerves. Overall, I appreciate the knowledgeable and dedicated therapists, the very friendly and helpful support staff, and the variety of equipment and treatments available.

    Tere Avatar Tere
  • Janet is very experienced and a professional therapist. She understands the subject and the patient's issues very well. Her hands have magic. I highly recommend her.

    Ghanshyam Dass Avatar Ghanshyam Dass

    Keya is a very professional, caring and highly skilled PT. She always helps me feel 100% better after my sessions with her. I’m so grateful to have her as my therapist. Thank you Keya. All the staff at PhysioFit are very helpful and courteous. One feels so welcome!

    Rosanne Kapur Avatar Rosanne Kapur
  • Well run, very experienced PTs. Great at listening to you and helping you on the road to recovery.

    Suzanne Cowan Avatar Suzanne Cowan

    I have seen Katrina for pelvic floor physical therapy this past year, and have struggled with nocturia for 15+ years. Prior to seeing Katrina, I saw 3 different urologists who were not able to find a solution for my night time voiding. I was given so many different medications - none of them worked. The doctors just said my symptoms were due to menopause, which was very vague and didn’t make sense to me. Waking up several times a night (every 2 hours) to urinate was very disruptive to my sleep, SO very frustrating. As someone with a complex medical history, I didn't think there would be a solution, and thought I'd have to live with this. I was pretty much ready to give up, until I found Katrina! Katrina is a very holistic therapist, she is very kind, genuine, competent, listening to my story, and doesn’t treat me like a “cookbook” patient - she really takes her time and looks at your body holistically during the evaluation. She explains everything that she is doing, which is very helpful because I've been trying to find an answer to my problem for years! She provides visual images and videos to help me learn about my issue, using the pelvic floor model as well, as I'm a visual learner. She is also very accessible - if I have any questions, she will respond to my email within 24 hours. I am now able to sleep through the night without waking up. I also don't leak urine anymore, so I don't have to wear those annoying and expensive pads when I play tennis. I have more energy throughout the day to participate in activities with my friends, which is important to me. Thank you Katrina for being my therapist and friend, problem solving with me, and never giving up on me.

    Katherine A Avatar Katherine A
  • I'm very thankful to have had PhysioFit and Janet Perrino recommended to me for the physical therapy of my proximal humerus fracture. Having in office sessions focused on evaluating my progress, tuning the rehab I do on my own, and manual therapy is exactly what I was hoping for and is only possible because of Janet's knowledge and experience. It has been great!

    Robert Strong Avatar Robert Strong

    For the past 10-12 years, at various times as needed, Physiofit has provided professional, highly skilled and effective physical therapy services for myself and my husband. Everyone on staff is attentive and cares for the clients. I can highly recommend their services. Ellen Barton

    Ellen Barton Avatar Ellen Barton
  • I found PhysioFit through my friend who also had clogged milk ducts. I was having a persistence clog that wouldn't resolve and needed to unclog it. I'm in healthcare myself and I've never heard of therapeutic ultrasound that delivers heat to break down the clog. I've only heard of diagnostic ultrasounds. Katrina who is the physical therapist I saw explained that it's not new technology but usually used in PT to help with sore tissues and muscles. Katrina used the therapeutic ultrasound and massaging technique to get both of my clogs out! I felt relief immediately! The sessions was an hour and I was afraid I'll be uncomfortable while she worked on the clog, but Katrina was full of energy and chatted with me the whole time! The sessions are pricey ($290/session) but they were upfront on the cost and did try to bill my insurance. But since I have HMO insurance it was considered out of network and did not cover the session. However they do take FSA card and sometimes offer promos! In the end, super glad this place offers this type of service for lactating mothers.

    Alice K. Avatar Alice K.

    I have had treatment from both Allison and Janet. And they are amaizing. Great accessible location and they are always good with schedules and reschedules.

    Raji Arasu Avatar Raji Arasu

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