Lymphedema Management

Lymphedema is the swelling of part of the body due to damage or dysfunction of the lymph system. Lymphedema of the arm or chest wall is a common complication after breast cancer and lymph node removal, and often causes mobility limitations and discomfort. It can even increase the risk of infection. Lymphedema of the leg and lower part of the trunk can occur following cancers such as prostate and ovarian cancer. If treated by a lymphedema therapist early following surgery (usually recommended two to three weeks after surgery, when the drains are out), the risk of developing lymphedema can be decreased.

Primary lymphedema is a swelling that is caused by a malformation of the lymphatic system during its development in the mother’s womb. However, symptoms are often not present until later in life. It can affect any part of the body, even head and neck, pelvis, and abdomen.

In the treatment of lymphedema, Sonja Redden will use combined decongestive therapy. This therapy will help reduce the swelling, improve your comfort, including well-being and esthetics, and prevent complications like skin alterations, infections and loss of function. It is a combination of manual lymph drainage (Vodder method), compression, exercise and skin care.

Depending on the goal of the treatment (prevention, maintenance, or volume reduction) and the severity of the condition, it is suggested that patients attend therapy between one to five times a week for three to eight weeks to have the maximum effect.

"Assisting You in Your Rehabilitation"

Cancer Rehabilitation

Following a bout with cancer, you might find yourself not able to enjoy the activities that you used to because of joint stiffness, muscle pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain or cording. You might have problems reaching, gripping, or walking, and may also suffer from low energy.

The side effects of cancer treatments can range from short-term and not affecting you at all to long-term and severely affecting your quality of life. You may not feel up to it at first, but exercise can help cancer patients manage fatigue and weakness while improving bone density at the same time. It can help control nausea and emotional distress. It can also improve your sleep, which in turn will help you enjoy life more.
Sonja Redden will work with you to gradually improve your range of motion, strength and endurance, to help you reach your goals. She will be able to provide you with exercises that are tailored to your needs. By exercising regularly and improving your health, you will be less likely to have a reoccurrence with cancer than if you did no physical activity at all.


Chronic Pain Management

Chronic pain can be caused by many things, including arthritis, nerve damage, or simply “out-of-control neural pathways.” It can take different forms, including fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, phantom pain and more. Treating pain is not a simple matter; if only one part of the body is considered, it may not lead to satisfactory results. When dealing with chronic pain it is important to take all of the body into consideration and to understand the mechanisms of your pain. Different types of pain include nociceptive (pain that is caused by injured body structures, such as the muscles, tendons, joints, bones and organs); inflammatory (swelling, usually caused by injury of some sort or an infection); neuropathic (which is caused by damage of nerves and reorganization of neural structures); and dysfunctional pain (where pain is utterly maintained by an altered nervous system that enhances pain signals).

Sonja Redden, as an experienced physiotherapist, will help you understand why your pain is so unrelenting, find an appropriate exercise regimen and strategies that will control your pain as much as possible and allow you to enjoy a good quality of life.

Progressive Goal Attainment Program (PGAP)

PGAP was developed by the University Centre for Research on Pain and Disability, Halifax, Nova Scotia. This program is unique, because it is the first to specifically target certain risk factors for disability. By reducing these risk factors, you will be able to participate in activities you once enjoyed, improve your quality of life, enable you to return to work and to lead a more independent life.

An initial screening will determine if you are a suitable candidate for this program. To achieve your goals, Sonja will work with you step by step helping with activity scheduling and activity involvement that will aid you in resuming normal activities. The activity goals will help you resume your family, social and occupational roles (for instance, your ability to make dinner if you were the main chef in your household); you will also be taught intervention techniques to derail discouragement as it comes up.

PGAP is evidence based and tailored to meet rehabilitation needs of individuals—like you—who are struggling to overcome the challenges associated with health conditions.