Where are you located?

At Clinchfield St. and Center St. in the Press Commons Food City shopping area “under the water tower” in downtown Kingsport. We are located in the same area as the Kingsport Farmers Market and the Kingsport carousel.

Are you affiliated with Ballad Health?

Although your therapists work closely with your health care providers at Ballad Health to optimize your care, Ribbons Physical Therapy, LLC is a privately owned clinic and your services will not be billed through Ballad Health. Our staff does not have access to your medical records at Ballad Health unless you sign a release to allow us to obtain paper copies.


How much will my treatment cost?

Ribbons Physical Therapy, LLC contracts with several insurance companies.  Our front office staff can assist you with estimating what your out-of-pocket expense will be for therapy services.  Some insurance companies do not cover the cost of compression garments and if a compression garment is required to control your lymphedema, your therapist can discuss less costly methods to obtain these.

How long is the appointment?

We ask that you allow one hour to one hour and 15 mins on your first visit so that the therapist can provide thorough assessment and that you will have time to ask questions and complete necessary paperwork. Subsequent visits are 45-60 minutes. We see patients one on one during their scheduled visit, therefore it is very important that if you cannot keep your appointment please call us as quickly as possible so we can ask other patients to fill the hour we have set aside for you.

What do I need to wear to therapy? 

Wear comfortable clothing that you can easily move about and good supportive shoes.

How often will I have to come to therapy?

Your therapist will discuss this with you on your first visit and collaborate with you to come up with a frequency for your treatment that can accommodate your needs and schedule. 

How can I tolerate therapy while I am undergoing chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy?

Studies show that exercise is safe before, during, and after cancer treatments.  The staff at Ribbons Physical Therapy works only with cancer survivors and lymphedema patients.  We understand that you may experience days where you are not at your best and we can accommodate your therapy for each day based on how you are doing at that time.  Even low-level exercise can assist you with feeling better and combating the fatigue you are experiencing.

Cold Laser Therapy

What is cold laser therapy? 

Cold laser therapy uses light waves to increase circulation to an area to promote healing of the affected tissues.  It does not actually feel cold; it just does not produce heat.

How does cold laser work?

It helps by stimulating circulation around the tissues. This increases blood flow to the tissues, making it easier for them to heal and therefore reducing the pain.

Can the cold laser machine be used for diabetic neuropathy?

What we know is that cold laser could be helpful with this, but there is not yet enough research to fully support it. We do not treat diabetic neuropathy, but if you have a friend with diabetic neuropathy your therapist can recommend another therapy clinic that provides this service.

How soon will I see results from cold laser treatment?

Most patients will get same day relief but it may take up to 6-12 treatments before noticing a sign of improvement. Depending on how long your symptoms have been present may also play a role in how soon you notice symptom relief.  

Why do I need to perform exercises if I am getting cold laser treatments?

While cold laser will address any symptoms you have from neuropathy, cold laser does not provide any strengthening to the weakened area or assist to improve your balance and the way you move. To obtain the best outcome, your therapist will want to address all these deficits to improve your quality of life.


What is lymphedema?

Lymphedema is the abnormal accumulation of water and proteins just below the surface of the skin. This could present anywhere in the body including extremities, head and neck, trunk, abdomen, external genitalia, and internal organs.

How does Lymphedema develop?

Lymphedema can be developed hereditarily but the majority of our patients develop lymphedema from surgery or radiation.

Who is at risk for lymphedema?

Factors that increase your risk of lymphedema include but are not limited to removal of lymph nodes during surgery, a large number of lymph nodes with cancer, radiation therapy to groups of lymph nodes, and increased body mass index.

How can I lower my risk for lymphedema?

No blood pressure, injections, or blood drawn to the at-risk arm. Avoid injuries to the at-risk arm. If injuries occur treat scraps, skin tears, or infections right away to avoid infections. Keep skin hydrated and clean. Avoid major temperature changes such as a sauna, hot tubs, tanning beds, or other sources.

Is lymphedema curable? Or treatable?

There is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be treated through the Golden standard treatment known has Complete Decongestive Therapy. The goal of treatment is to utilize the good lymph vessels left to reroute fluid to another area to be filtered and in result reduce the size of the swelling area.

What kind of treatment will be done for lymphedema?

We provide Complete Decongestive Therapy given by a Certified Lymphedema Therapist who has completed 135 hours of training in lymphedema management. Your treatment will consist of manual lymphatic drainage, compression to the area, instruction in skin care, and exercises to help move the lymphatic fluid.

What is manual lymphatic drainage (MLD)?

MLD is a gentle manual treatment that reroutes lymphatic fluid from swollen areas to healthy areas of the body.

Why do I need to wear compression garments?

Compression garments encourage lymphatic fluid to travel out of the swollen tissues. Compression garments are utilized along with MLD to continue the decongestion process and reduce risk of re-accumulation of fluid.

What type of exercises will I need to complete at home for lymphedema?

Your therapist will design an individualized exercise plan to meet your needs and fitness levels. Exercises with compression garments on help to encourage lymphatic flow.

What is the difference between physical therapy and occupational therapy (we have both)?

Physical therapists are experts in movement that assist patients with physical disabilities improve their quality of life. Physical therapists help patients regain muscle strength, joint range of motion, balance, coordination, endurance, and functional mobility with use of exercise, hands-on-care, and patient education. Occupational therapists focus on the patient’s unique needs to maximize their functional independence and to improve their overall quality of life. Occupational therapists address these needs through intervention sessions, training, and education. Occupational therapists’ intervention sessions are often focused on but not limited to: range of motion, strength, coordination, sensation, self-care, home management, community involvement, cognition, perceptual skills, and visual training. Both our occupational therapist and physical therapy staff are certified lymphedema therapists and either can assist you to manage your lymphedema.

What is Axillary Web Syndrome?

This is a common side effect from breast cancer surgery where the lymph collectors under the arm become congested and hard. This may present as a hard string like feeling under the arm that may feel stiff and limit shoulder movement.