As of May 2019, we will no longer offer the Upper Extremity Lymphedema Therapy Certification option. We believe it is in the best interests of the therapist and their patients to complete the full nine-day training in order to provide expert lymphedema therapy. If you have additional questions, please call our office at 303-245-0333.
This valuable 90-hour course is designed for therapists who specialize in treating patients after breast cancer. It is also an option for those who want to becoming fully certified in lymphedema therapy but are unable to commit the time or money to the full-length course. Those who successfully complete this Upper Extremity Lymphedema Certification are welcome to complete the second half of the class at a later time.
In this Certification class, you will learn Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) for the upper extremities. CDT is the most effective treatment for patients with lymphedema and includes Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), compression bandaging, skin care, and patient-appropriate exercises. At the conclusion of the course, you will be certified in Upper Extremity Lymphedema Therapy (CLT-UE) and can immediately start working with patients.
The course begins with a 45-hour Online Home Study Module that can be completed at your own pace anywhere you have access to the internet. The online study is followed by 45 hours of classroom (lab) instruction over 4½ days.
Course Educational Level: Introductory/Intermediate
Instructional Methods: Online home-study followed by hands-on lab, lectures, case studies, and live demonstrations.
AOTA Classifications: Occupational Therapy Process: Evaluation, Intervention, and Outcomes
About Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
CDT is the most effective treatment for chronic extremity lymphedema. Primary lymphedema (congenital) and secondary lymphedema (due to a damaged lymphatic system) respond extremely well to this gentle, non-invasive and highly-effective therapy. CDT is sometimes referred to as Complete Decongestive Physiotherapy (CDP). CDT consists of the following four steps:
Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD):
MLD is a gentle manual treatment which improves the function of the lymphatic system throughout the body. The techniques of MLD were first introduced in the 1930s by Dr. Emil Vodder, PhD, MT, of Denmark. MLD is widely recognized in the United States as an effective treatment for post-surgical swelling, post-traumatic edema (as with sports injuries), migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other conditions involving edema. When used to treat lymphedema, MLD re-routes lymph flow around blocked areas and into healthy lymph vessels which drain into the venous circulation.
Compression therapy improves the efficiency of the muscle and joint pump and increases tissue pressure. Multi-layered compression bandages are applied between MLD treatments to help prevent re-accumulation of evacuated fluid. Once the patient’s limb is sufficiently decongested through repeated treatments, they can be fit with compression garments.
Exercises are performed with compression bandages in place to activate the muscle and joint pumps of the affected extremity. This results in an increase in lymphokinetic activity and further reduction of the swollen limb over time.
Skin care and general hygiene are essential to eliminate bacterial and fungal growth which can cause repeated attacks of cellulitis or erysipelas. Infections are very common complications of lymphedema so meticulous skin and nail care is vital.
Home Study Module
Contact us for a free tour of our online Home Study Module! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Topics covered by the Home Study Module include:
- Anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the lymphatic system
- Diagnosis and differential diagnosis of lymphedema
(NOTE: These lectures are given by the dynamic Dr. Kathleen Francis, an expert in the treatment of lymphedema.)
- Introduction to MLD
- Introduction to lymphedema bandaging and compression therapy
- Indications and contraindications of MLD and CDT
- Exercises for upper-extremity patients with lymphedema
- Patient evaluation and weekly measuring (circumference and volume)
- Self-MLD for the upper extremities
Testing Methods: Online quizzes (multiple choice)
- Basic and advanced techniques and sequences of UE MLD (Vodder technique)
- Treatment of primary and secondary UE extremity lymphedema
- Lymphedema bandaging techniques and compression therapy for UE
- 3M Coban2 bandaging for the upper extremities and trunk
- Skin and nail care for patients with UE lymphedema
- Measuring and fitting techniques for UE lymphedema support garments
- At-home maintenance and self-treatment for UE lymphedema
Testing Methods: Final exam, case study presentation, evaluation of manual techniques
- Identify the components of the lymphatic system and its function
- Identify various medical conditions that can lead to the development of edema and lymphedema
- Differentiate between a variety of peripheral edemas and identify necessary treatment strategies for each condition
- Identify the application, medical indications, and contraindications for Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT)
- Identify various compression therapy application strategies for patients with lymphedema of the UE
- Attest to the importance of skin care and hygiene for patients with lymphedema
- Attest to the importance of a proper exercise protocols for individuals at risk for and with lymphedema
- Identify risk-reduction practices for patients at risk for lymphedema
- Distinguish between a variety of measurement techniques used in the evaluation of UE lymphedema and custom-made compression garments
- Identify the most effective lymphedema treatment protocols based on current evidence
- Establish CDT treatment plans for individuals with primary and secondary lymphedema of the UE
- Effectively perform MLD sequences for patients with primary and secondary lymphedema of the UE
- Competently apply short-stretch compression bandaging systems for patients with upper extremity lymphedema.
Course Materials & Resources
- Course Study Manual divided into 16 sections
- Lymphedema bandaging materials for upper extremities
- Lymphatic system posters (set of three)
- Manual Lymph Drainage videos
- Lymphedema Life Impact Scale (LLIS) and G-Code Calculator
- Jobst Elvarex compression garment certification
- Product samples, brochures, and catalogs from many companies that support patients with lymphedema
- Free listing on the Klose Training online Therapist Directory (Great for referrals!)
- One full year of complimentary access to the lectures, videos and quizzes of our online Home Study Module following your class (a GREAT resource to prepare for the LANA exam!)
- Exclusive, lifetime access to 200+ reference articles, 50+ instructional videos, treatment forms, and other resources on Klose Training’s Graduates Page
- And more…
Usual class hours are:
Friday – Monday, 8:00am – 7:00pm
Tuesday, 8:00am – 12:30pm.
For a full list of dates and locations, please visit our Schedule Page.
*Massage therapists must show proof of completion of a minimum of 500 hours of massage education or be certified through the NCBTMB.
NOTE: This course is geared toward enhancing the practice and knowledge of Physical and Occupational Therapists and Assistants treating patients with lymphedema; parts of this course may be outside the scope of practice for Massage Therapists. It is the responsibility of all health professionals to ensure that they work within the limits of their license.
Please contact our office for information on discounts and payment plans.
Certificate/Continuing Education Credits (CEUs)
After completing the Upper Extremity course, Klose graduates are welcome to later complete the coursework required for full certification by attending the last 4.5 days of any of our Lymphedema Therapy Certification course offerings. Students will learn skills and knowledge specific to the lower extremity including treatment of LE lymphedema, basic and advanced MLD techniques for LE, compression bandaging for LE, measuring and fitting for LE garments, plus skin and nail care, exercises, and self-treatment for patients with LE lymphedema. In addition, treatment of head and neck, genital, and pediatric lymphedema will be covered.
To complete your training after becoming UE certified, call Klose Training at 303-245-0333. The cost is $1000. Once you have finished the last 45 hours of curriculum, you will be qualified to sit for the LANA certification exam.
Directions & Accommodations
You may also contact our office at 303-245-0333 or email us at email@example.com.