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Upcoming Presentations

MEM Full Course

AT. Still Physical Therapy Program- Mesa, Arizona

Open for registration: https://web.cvent.com/event/628cb5c3-0d03-487b-9126-d4b470f87ee4/regProcessStep1:a2cabd99-9a74-4684-be22-81375dd94699
April 13-14, 2024

MEM Full Course
Open for registration – 1-319-377-0937
Cedar Rapids, IA
August 26 – 27, 2022

MEM – UE Only
Georgia Hand and Upper Extremity Special Interest Group 
(Registration limited to Members Only)
November 11 – 12, 2022

Available MEM Courses

Below is a suggested MEM Upper and Lower Extremity course format available to potential course sponsors in the US.  Format can be tailored to an individual sponsor’s/organizations’s needs, time schedule, etc.  Contact Dr. Sublett for further information: [email protected].

Course Title:

Manual Edema Mobilization (MEM): Swelling Management for the Upper and Lower  Extremities (full course) 

Course Description:

Following an injury, orthopedic surgery or trauma the consequences of longstanding edema are well known.  The consequences include: persistent pain, delayed wound healing and the development of fibrotic scar tissue that can restrict motion and impact overall return to function for the patient.  Therapists often struggle in helping patients with edema management, despite their best efforts with interventions such as rest, ice, compression and elevation.

The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in fluid homeostasis, yet this role has been greatly overlooked. Following an injury, trauma, or orthopedic surgery, persistent edema is often the result of an overloaded lymphatic system. Knowing how to stimulate the lymphatic system to quickly reduce edema can make all the difference to patients for pain reduction, increasing ROM, and return to function. The purpose of this course is to teach the therapist the lymphatic decongestion method of Manual Edema Mobilization (MEM).  MEM is a specific treatment method with evidence-based rationale designed to reduce sub-acute and chronic edema. Lecture and hands-on labs will be used to learn the tenets and demonstrate the 5 Key Components of the method.  Problem-solving through case study presentations will help participants apply MEM to manage sub-acute and chronic edema as seen in their specific patient populations.

This method is not applicable for primary lymphedema or post cancer lymphedema treatment.

This 2 day course covers UE and LE, including specific hand, finger, foot and toe management, and allows more time for bandaging compression instruction.

Target Audience:

Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Certified/Licensed Athletic Trainers, Registered Nurses, Doctoral Candidates in Physical Therapy

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the lymphatic system’s role in fluid homeostasis (edema/swelling management)

2. Apply differential diagnosis of edema

3. Understand and demonstrate the 5 Key Components of MEM including:

  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Light manual lymphatic system stimulation with “Pump Points” and “Clear and Flow”
  • Exercise
  • Adjuncts
  • Self-management home program design

4. Distinguish the contraindications, precautions, and limitations of Manual Edema Mobilization.

5. To return to practice following the course understanding the tenets of MEM, ready to apply the MEM method.

Pre-course Recommended Reading:

Artzberger S. Edema reduction techniques: A biologic rationale for selection. In: Cooper C’s Fundamentals of Hand therapy: clinical reasoning and treatment guidelines for common diagnoses of the upper extremity. 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby. 2014; 35-50.

Artzberger S.  Manual edema mobilization: treatment for edema in the subacute hand.  In: Mackin EJ, Hunter JM, Callahan AD, Skirven TM, Schneider LH, Osterman AL (eds). Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Mosby. 2011: ch. 65

Lab Attire:

Attendees should wear clothing that will allow easy access to the trunk and full extremities.  Layers are recommended as room temperatures may vary.

Sample schedule:


7:30 AM Registration

8:00 AM Introductions & pre-test of knowledge

8:20 AM Tissue response to trauma

9:40 AM Anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems

10:15 am    BREAK

10:30 AM Types of edema & differential diagnosis

11:00 AM 5 Key Components of Manual Edema Mobilization (MEM)

  1. diaphragmatic breathing (+ practice)
  2. light manual lymphatic system stimulation (+ practice)
    1. Pump Points
    2. Clear and Flow
  3. Exercise incorporation
  4. Adjuncts:
    1. Compression/bandaging/garments
    2. Kinesiology taping
    3. Neutral warmth devices
  5. Self-management home program design

12:30 PM    LUNCH

1:30 PM Contraindications and precautions for MEM application

2:00 PM LAB: MEM method for the upper extremity

  1. diaphragmatic breathing & exercise
  2. manual technique for UE: pump point stimulation
  3. manual techniques for UE: clear and flow (including hand and fingers)

3:15 pm   BREAK

3:30 PM LAB: MEM for the upper extremity, cont.

  1. Adjuncts
    1. compression/bandaging/garments
    2. kinesiology taping
    3. neutral warmth devices
  2. Self-management home program design



8:00 AM Review of MEM tenets and 5 Key Components

8:45 AM Assessment and documentation

9:15 AM LAB: MEM for the lower extremity

  1. diaphragmatic breathing & exercise
  2. manual technique for LE: pump point stimulation

10:30 AM BREAK

10:45 AM LAB: MEM for the lower extremity (cont.)

Manual techniques for LE: clear and flow (including foot and toes)


  1. compression/bandaging/garments
  2. kinesiology taping
  3. neutral warmth devices

Self-management home program design

12:30 PM LUNCH

1:30 PM           Practical Application

  1. UE Treatment intervention demonstration
  2. UE Treatment performance
  3. LE Treatment intervention demonstration
  4. LE Treatment performance

(Break as needed)

3:30 PM Participant specific case review and analysis: UE & LE

4:30 PM Final Q & A session, post-test of knowledge

5:00 pm Adjourn

Teaching and Learning Assessment Methods:

Teaching: lecture, hands on lab, case study presentations with participant problem solving involvement

Assessment Methods: Pre-lecture quiz, 25 question multiple choice post-test

© Sandra Sublett, PT, DPT, OCS, CLT – all rights reserved.