Monica Bostrom, registered physical therapist at Riverwood Healthcare Center, recently completed specialized training to become a certified lymphedema therapist.
Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in the arms or legs. Although lymphedema tends to affect just one arm or leg, sometimes both arms or both legs may be swollen. Lymphedema is caused by a blockage in your lymphatic system, an important part of the immune and circulatory systems. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and as the fluid builds up, the swelling continues. Lymphedema is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment.
“The goal of lymphedema therapy is to restore function, reduce physical discomfort and prevent the development of infection,” Bostrom explains. “The treatment is aimed at improving lymphedema with manual lymphatic drainage, massage, exercise, and special bandaging. Sometimes wearing compression garments are needed to maintain the results.”
With more than 20 years of experience, Bostrom offers outpatient therapy at Riverwood and also has specialized training in the treatment of neurological disorders, dizziness and balance disorders, wound care and chronic pain.
In addition to lymphedema therapy, Riverwood offers full-service physical therapy services at all three of its clinics in Aitkin, Garrison and McGregor. Some of these services include treatment of back, neck and other sprains and strains, rehabilitation following total joint replacement, manual therapies such as muscle energy techniques and myofascial release, balance and gait training, specialty treatment in jaw pain and vertigo, and therapy for athletic injuries.