What is Lymphedema?

Lymphedema is the accumulation of a particular kind of fluid, typically in one part of the body.

In breast cancer, for example, it can appear in the arm on the same side as the cancer, after lymph nodes are removed from the armpit region for cancer staging. Lymph is the protein-rich body fluid that accumulates when the lymphatic system for fluid transport is damaged.


Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a type of gentle massage which is intended to encourage the natural drainage of the lymph, which carries waste products away from the tissues back toward the heart.

The lymph system depends on intrinsic contractions of the smooth muscle cells in the walls of lymph vessels (peristalsis) and the movement of skeletal muscles to propel lymph through the vessels to lymph nodes and then to the lymph ducts which return lymph to the cardiovascular system.

Manual lymph drainage uses a specific amount of pressure and rhythmic circular movements to stimulate lymph flow.

Why Does Lymphedema Happen?

As part of surgery, many people with breast cancer have at least two or three lymph nodes removed from under the arm, and sometimes many more nodes.

If the cancer has spread, it has most likely moved into to those underarm lymph nodes first because they drain lymph from the breast. Many people also need radiation therapy to the chest area and/or underarm. Surgery and radiation can cut off or damage some of the nodes and vessels through which lymph moves.

Over time, the flow of lymph can overwhelm the remaining pathways, resulting in a backup of fluid into the body’s tissues.

Know your risk factors, take steps to reduce your risk, and be aware of early symptoms.

Left untreated, lymphedema can worsen and cause severe swelling and permanent changes to the tissues under the skin, such as thickening and scarring.

Are You Ready For Lymphedema Treatments?

  1. Did you have a surgery that caused you to have lymph nodes removed? If so, when?
  2. Have you had any lymphedema treatments at the hospital? If so, how many?
  3. Have you asked the hospital if you are ready for post-surgical lymphedema treatments?

Here at Menner Chiropractic, Elda provides follow-up Maintenance Therapy post-diagnosis and post-surgical lymphedema treatments, after patients are released from their treatments at the hospital.

If you have had treatments at the hospital and your doctor told you that you are ready for post-surgical lymphedema treatments, please feel free to call us and schedule a consultation and appointment with Elda. If you have not had treatments at the hospital, unfortunately Elda cannot provide lymphedema treatments for you yet.

When you come in for your appointment, you will want to bring/wear a sports bra, shorts, compression hose and/or sleeve. If you have any other questions you are welcome to ask Elda during your first consultation with her.

If you would like this service to apply toward your insurance, you would first need to see one of our doctors as a new patient. To book an appointment with Elda, or for more information about Lymphedema, please call Menner Chiropractic at 847-540-6060.

Meet our Certified Lymphedema Therapist

Elda – Certified Lymphedema Therapist at Menner Chiropractic

Elda is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Lymphedema Therapist, Certified Health Consultant, Yoga Instructor and Certified Energy Worker.

Elda graduated from various colleges and schools in Europe, South Africa, and the United States of America.

She started off studying nutrition, vitamin therapy, herbology, aroma therapy, and other areas before switching to bodywork in the late seventies and eighties. Elda continues to study, learn, and is certified in various techniques such as Lymphedema Therapy from Good Shepard Hospital and Breast Cancer Rehabilitation from Klose Training.

For more information about whether Manual Lymphatic Drainage is right for you, or if you have other questions about Lymphedema please call 847-540-6060 to book an consultation and/or appointment with our Certifietd Lymphedema Specialist.

See all treatments available at Menner Chiropractic

Menner Chiropractic Sports Medicine
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Breast Cancer.org
Wikipedia – MLD
Lymphedema Network