Benefits of Lymphatic Drainage

Video of the Day

What does the lymphatic system do?
The main role of the lymph nodes is the detoxification of the body. I stopped taking it, but the weight would not come off. The applied Gel is a chemical free, all organic product by Eminence. During gestation, the liver of a fetus is regarded as part of the lymphatic system as it plays a role in lymphocyte development. I have primary LE in my left leg which appeared when I was 35 years old last year.

Post navigation

Do’s and Don’ts for Lymphedema of the Leg

Speak with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. This includes several components, some already mentioned above:. Lymphatic drainage massage, also known as manual lymphatic drainage, is a type of massage therapy performed by a qualified lymphedema professional.

Manipulating tissues allows the lymph fluids to drain more freely. How often manual lymphatic drainage is required depends on the severity, location of swelling, and how much movement of the area is tolerated. It often starts out five days a week for three to eight weeks, then is performed as frequently as necessary to maintain improvement.

You can also receive training from a professional to do it at home. Food and Drug Administration has approved low-level laser therapy for treating lymphedema related to breast cancer. Studies have found it can be effective in lessening swelling, pain and size of the limb. Studies have found it can decrease limb size, improve function, well-being, and quality of life.

Lymphedema that happens along with a bacterial infection will be treated first with antibiotics. Antibiotics can help control pain and swelling. They also help prevent the infection from spreading. Your outlook depends on the stage, location, and cause of lymphedema, as well as your overall health.

Lymphedema is an ongoing condition that requires ongoing care. The best way to deal with lymphedema is to use a combination of treatments and management techniques.

Healthline and our partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link above. If you've ever had a surgery on your lymph nodes, your doctor may have suggested lymphatic drainage massage. This is a technique used to remove waste…. Swollen feet aren't usually cause for concern, but they could be a sign of another health condition. Here's what might be causing the swelling. Several things, from exercise to hot weather, can cause swollen hands.

Learn more about these and other causes, and when you should call your doctor. What makes a carb good and what makes it bad? Turns out carbs alone can't be faulted for any weight issues - it's the combination of how and what you…. Approximately 1 in 6 U. So chances are, you may benefit at some point in your life from talking…. From worsening anxiety to making depression more likely, sugar is seriously harmful to your mental health.

Even trying to cut back on the sweet stuff…. Infrared saunas promise a number of health benefits, from weight loss and decreased stress levels to improved circulation and even better skin. There are many misconceptions about what panic attacks look and feel like. Understanding panic attacks and learning how best to support yourself and…. Every family has a secret remedy that's been passed down through generations. Whether it's vapor rub for colds or grilled onions for headaches….

What causes lymphatic dysfunction? What are the signs and symptoms of lymphatic dysfunction? What complications are associated with lymphatic dysfunction? How is lymphatic dysfunction diagnosed? How is lymphatic dysfunction treated? The lymphatic system has three main functions:. The system has special small vessels called lacteals. These enable it to absorb fats and fat-soluble nutrients from the gut.

They work with the blood capillaries in the folded surface membrane of the small intestine. The blood capillaries absorb other nutrients directly into the bloodstream. Around 2 liters of fluid leak from the cardiovascular system into body tissues every day. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that collect these fluids, or lymph. Lymph is a clear fluid that is derived from blood plasma. The lymph vessels form a network of branches that reach most of the body's tissues.

They work in a similar way to the blood vessels. The lymph vessels work with the veins to return fluid from the tissues. Unlike blood, the lymphatic fluid is not pumped but squeezed through the vessels when we use our muscles.

The properties of the lymph vessel walls and the valves help control the movement of lymph. However, like veins, lymphatic vessels have valves inside them to stop fluid from flowing back in the wrong direction. Lymph is drained progressively towards larger vessels until it reaches the two main channels, the lymphatic ducts in our trunk.

From there, the filtered lymph fluid returns to the blood in the veins. The vessels branch through junctions called lymph nodes. These are often referred to as glands, but they are not true glands as they do not form part of the endocrine system.

In the lymph nodes, immune cells assess for foreign material, such as bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Lymph nodes are not the only lymphatic tissues in the body. The tonsils, spleen, and thymus gland are also lymphatic tissues. In the back of the mouth, there are tonsils. These produce lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, and antibodies. They have a strategic position, hanging down from a ring forming the junction between the mouth and pharynx.

This enables them to protect against inhaled and swallowed foreign bodies. The tonsils are the tissues affected by tonsillitis. The spleen is not connected to the lymphatic system in the same way as lymph nodes, but it is lymphoid tissue. This means it plays a role in the production of white blood cells that form part of the immune system. Its other major role is to filter the blood to remove microbes and old and damaged red blood cells and platelets.

The thymus gland is a lymphatic organ and an endocrine gland that is found just behind the sternum. It secretes hormones and is crucial in the production, maturation, and differentiation of immune T cells.

Bone marrow is not lymphatic tissue, but it can be considered part of the lymphatic system because it is here that the B cell lymphocytes of the immune system mature. During gestation, the liver of a fetus is regarded as part of the lymphatic system as it plays a role in lymphocyte development. Explore the model using your mouse pad or touchscreen to understand more about the lymphatic system. The lymph system has three main functions. The lymphatic system helps maintain fluid balance.

It returns excess fluid and proteins from the tissues that cannot be returned through the blood vessels. The fluid is found in tissue spaces and cavities, in the tiny spaces surrounding cells, known as the interstitial spaces. These are reached by the smallest blood and lymph capillaries. Around 90 percent of the plasma that reaches tissues from the arterial blood capillaries is returned by the venous capillaries and back along veins.

The remaining 10 percent is drained back by the lymphatics. Each day, around liters is returned. This fluid includes proteins that are too large to be transported via the blood vessels. Loss of the lymphatic system would be fatal within a day. Without the lymphatic system draining excess fluid, our tissues would swell, blood volume would be lost and pressure would increase.

Most of the fats absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract are taken up in a part of the gut membrane in the small intestine that is specially adapted by the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system has tiny lacteals in this part of the intestine that form part of the villi. These finger-like protruding structures are produced by the tiny folds in the absorptive surface of the gut. Lacteals absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins to form a milky white fluid called chyle.

This fluid contains lymph and emulsified fats, or free fatty acids. It delivers nutrients indirectly when it reaches the venous blood circulation. Blood capillaries take up other nutrients directly. The third function is to defend the body against unwanted organisms. Without it, we would die very soon from an infection. Our bodies are constantly exposed to potentially hazardous micro-organisms, such as infections. None of the men got it. Ive had several infectionsin my leg and the skin in general.

I have to be careful not to hurt them in any way. This blog held true to my case of le and ive had it for 24 years now. Running caused a internal infection. A bacterial infection actually. As far as tattoo ing the affected limbs absolutly not! If I get nasty fungal infections from reg scrapes imagine what a,tattoo would cause. And I have 10 tattoos on my bodyin various other places just not my legs. Any questions please feel free to ask me, ive been though it all and im only I would suggest contacting JUZO; they do have specialty compression stockings for cases like this one.

My daughter was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer at She is now 35 and has been experiencing lymph edema of her leg. This time it is worse. Seems to occur during hot summer season. She is experiencing soreness all the way up to her arm pit. She has had many surgical procedures including thoracic surgery due to her cancer which involved a teratoma.

She is using compression stockings. She also sits most of the day at a desk. Here is a link to an article discussing diuretics and lymphedema: Last year I was diagnosed with lymphedema after 3 years of severe ankle swelling.

I have been on a compression machine for several months with no change. Prescription stockings for a few years now. What else can I do? Can lymph fluid leak from a toenail? My right ankle became very swollen after standing for several hours over this past weekend. On Sunday afternoon, I noticed 2 mosquito bites on that ankle and then on Monday, I had extreme pain in my right big toe — under and around my toenail. When I clipped the toenail, a lot of clear liquid began to flow freely from underneath the toenail — at the top, down one side and even from at the bed of the toenail!

It was clear with only a very slight color — not really yellow, more like a straw or hay color. It leaked this fluid profusely for about 20 minutes and then continued leaking slightly for more several hours. I kept it elevated for the evening and overnight.

This morning the swelling was completely gone and my toe did feel better; however, after being up now for 7 hours, it is hurting and throbbing again. Do you think this could be related to my lymphedema?

Have there been any studies or are certain kinds of lasers recommended? What about other parts of the body? Underarms lower back that are not affected by lymphodema? The general consensus is not to use laser hair removal techniques on areas affected by lymphedema.

Hi I have been dealing with LE for the past 5 years. I just wanted to put my 2 cents in about LE and tattoos. The outline was from ankle to knee and front to back of leg. We just did the outline first visit.

The next day half way thru the day, I noticed my leg was draining fluid. Couple of days later it stopped draining. Someone turned on the fauset. That scared me enough to check it out. I started with a therapist and was told to wait to get things under control and then only do a little at a time. I got with my tattoo guy and we worked out a schedule to get it done. It took me almost a year to finish my leg but we did.

Unfortunately I have LE in both legs, so I will not be getting anymore tats below the waist. I was lucky not to have gotten any infections, not worth it. I am also having both knees replaced in a few months. I have talked with my surgeon, he is savvy about LE so I am not too concerned there. Hope this helps with tattoo or not to tattoo.

I have secondary lymph edema of the right leg and have been dealing with it since I have toenail fungus in 3 of my nails. The fungas is not improving and due to the liver issues for the oral medication, I am choosing not to take the oral meds. In the years since , I have only had cellulitus one time, but what can I do to get rid of this fungas so I do not risk cellulitus or other infections??

Alice — here is a link to some home remedies. I would certainly also seek the advice of a podiatrist http: I have just had surgery and have two of my lymph nodes legs removed. Could you please explain to me of when to go see somebody regarding Lymph edema, I have no symptoms and I am very active. Do I wait until something arises if it does? Since there were only two lymph nodes removed in your case I would not be too worried about the onset of lymphedema. However, it is possible.

I would suggest to consult with a trained lymphedema therapist as soon as you experience any symptoms associated with lymphedema. Here is a link assisting you in locating a certified therapist in your area: There is no reason for your lymphedema to become worse as long as you manage it the way you used to.

However, I now have pooling around my knee, just at top of garment. If Solidea compression was not sufficient, the only other alternative would be a compression pantyhose compression class I. Thanks for your help. I have had lymphedema for about 35 years. Both of my legs swell. I have it under control most of the time. I wear compression hoes, and I do have a pump. I started a new job last year.

I work 10 to 12 hour days. I only work 3 days a week. I was doing great at first, but the last couple of months my legs have felt so heavy when I leave work. Last week both my knees started swelling and above my knee cap was very tender.

I took off a week of work. I went back to work this past Monday, and I worked 12 hours. My legs where in awful shape when I got home. I felt like that I was swollen from the waist down.

Now I am off of work for another week. I am going to go have my legs wrapped on Thursday. IF I keep my legs elevated they are fine, but as soon as I get up on them wearing my hose they are still swelling. I need some advice. Should I only work 5 to 6 hours. Can I no longer work a 40 hour week job. I should mention that I have not worked more that 16 hours a week for the past 18 years.

My children are older now, and I wanted to go back to work. One option would certainly be to limit your working hours. Another option is to wear an additional knee high compression stocking compression class I , or an alternative compression device CircAid, Solaris on top of your compression hose. This would increase tissue pressure and limit the accumulation of fluid in the tissue of your legs.

Here is a link to check alternative compression devices: Thank you for your suggestions. I had my legs wrapped this week. Hopefully the wrapping will decrease my swelling so that I can go back to work. My knees have been swelling a lot. I have never had this problem before. Thank you again for your suggestions. Before that I was a competitive runner and fitness competitor. I am back to light jogging again which feels good physically and emotionally it lifts my spirits.

And I have managed to bring it back from stage 2 with fibrosis to stage 1 with a difference of 1 to 2 cm in the legs. My leg actually reduces and feels better overall after jogging as long as I practice good maintenance with compression garments, elevation, and low sodium foods. But my question is what type of garment or bandage would you recommend during jogging that would help the leg maintain compression, yet breath, and be flexible for an even.

It just feels so stiff when I wear my compression stocking. No, my lymphedema involves the whole leg and I wear a thigh high. I should have mentioned this. Maybe a lighter compression during exercise? You may try using a lighter compression during exercise. Should it be insufficient to keep the swelling down, you can always go back to your current compression thigh-high.

A year later and my left leg looks like it belongs to someone else. Went to ER and was told I have Lymphedema. Anyone else have this happen? Thankyou for getting right back to me. I realize this issue is minor compared to those that are writing to you with very serious medical consequences. You treat every comment and question with respect and courtesy. And it is refreshing to find someone knowledgeable that cares.

I was curious about your experience of using a lower numbered compression garment in during exercise. I too have secondary lower leg lymphedema for 8 years and have managed it wearing the mmhg panty hose.

But the summer heat makes walking and biking tough. Wondering how your experiment went? I am afraid to use a lower grade as it has kept the lymphedema under good control so far. Lighter compression during jogging is the answer for me! Lighter compression only during exercise followed by firmer compression at all other times along with healthy eating, low sodium choices, and elevation at night and life is much better. Zuther for your advice. I excercise times per week and it seems to help.

I have had lymphedema for 7 years on my entire left leg. Although I have noticed infections when i overdo the squats or leg excercise.

I am getting LNT surgery at the end of the month, praying it helps! I have had progressive swelling in my right leg for about a year now, I started wearing compression socks about 6 months ago and they do help. Would you recommend a fMRI and map the lower lymphatics so then I can pinpoint the source of abnormality? Also have you heard any recent news on whether low level laser therapy is beneficial for peripheral lymphedema, I have been reading some journal articles but the results are divided.

Furthermore to mention geography, I live in Perth, Australia and was wondering if it is worth getting tested for Lymphatic Filariasis, however rare that could be as I have lived in Thailand and realise that time for nematodes to reach adulthood could take years, during which you could be asymptomatic. Lastly, would you recommend a lympho-venous anastomosis as I am in the early stages and that is of course the best time to have one done. Kimberley — I will try your idea of wearing lower pressure compression socks when exercising as I to like to exercise and it swells a little bit more when I wear tighter ones mmHg.

Thank you for this website! Our daughter was born with primary lymphedema probably Milroy disease We did not have much guidance on what to do for her. Of course when she was born the doctors ran every test thinking it was something worse. She has been a healthy, smart,active girl and we are just getting her fitted for a compression sock. I try to find support and not look at too many pictures because as a mom I do get scared on how it could progress.

We are trying to educate her on taking care of her foot and giving massages. I am hoping the compression will help her and help her to know how to manage as she gets older. We have never kept her from an activity and she loves soccer and dancing.

I hope she always feels like she can do anything. I suggest you consult with a trained and certified lymphedema therapist. Hello, thank you for this page. I your article, you have mentioned to Avoid Heat. Recently, a friend of mine suggested me to try using Heated Compression Stockings.

What would be your suggestions? Is far infrared radiation therapy good for lymphedema patients? I am unclear of the potential benefits of heated compression stockings.

However, if other conditions exist in combination with lymphedema, heat may be beneficial. In these cases the potential benefits of heat need to be weighted against the potential aggregating effects of heat to lymphedema. The same goes for FIR; FIR wavelength is too long to be perceived by the eyes, however, the body experiences its energy as a gentle radiant heat which can penetrate up to 1. In other words, the temperature and thereby the blood supply in the lymphedematous extremity would increase.

Here is a link to an article on FIR: Does it go down? I would suggest you consult with a trained and certified lymphedema therapist. I was diagnosed yesterday as having lymphodema in my right ankle and foot. If I wear tennis shoes, it swells about 4 inches above my ankle amd partly the door but it hurts on the lateral border if my foot.

I have seen one orthos, said it was from my back and nerve damage and nerve test showed no sciatic nerve damage so they ruled that out as being cause.

Saw ortho for ankle, was told posterior tibial dysfunction and wore boot for 10 weeks and then he said I was healed. I was now swelling on outside of ankle more. Whole foot and ankle changed from eversion to inversion. I feel the aso brace damaged something as I now have tingling superficially. Could this be the lymphatic system breaking down? When I got diagnosis yesterday, was told nothing could be done.

Where do I go now? What type of dr do I see? I just ordered compression hose on my own and hope it helps. Should I see a dr to see where it is coming from? Just need thoughts due to negligent medical care. I would suggest you consult with a trained and certified lymphedema therapist to have the origin of the swelling evaluated. If it is indeed lymphedema, it should not be difficult to get under control. You may also go on our website http: I was in the past two months diagnosed with primary Lymphedema, both legs with the left initiating the symptoms 6 years ago.

I had a SPY test showing little lymphatic structure beside foot on L side and damaged structure the entire length R leg. I have been doing MLD and bandaging with short stretch bandages for the past 4.

The question I have is that the volume of legs has gone down significantly, except for my toes and top of both feet. My therapist wants to move me to thigh high compression and took measurements. Since the top of my feet continue to be swollen despite continued bandaging including the toes should I switch over to stockings?

Also, I am a healthy mobile 33 year old, my therapist has never given due to the difficulty getting on, should I try lesser compression with a knee high on top? If not, I would suggest trying that first. As for the compression stockings. I have multiple issues. Had whiplash and hurt my back. I had a radical hysterectomy. They removed my lower lymph nodes. I have 4 broken ribs, dislocated my right shoulder, tore ligaments on both sides of my shoulder.

And popped my rib heads out of place on my back. I was never told about lymph phatic swelling, or edema. So here I am now 63 years old and I have whole body edema. I am overweight but it is mostly water, and lymph fluids. Who can I see to get help? I live in Wyoming. Lymphedema generally does not affect the entire body, there maybe other underlying issues regarding your swelling.

I had an emergency appendectomy 2 months ago appendices were located behind my liver and I had several abdominal adhesions to to a past history of endometriosis-after hysterectomy in , endometriosis has not been a problem but I keep asking my doctor and surgeon why my feet, ankles, and lower calves have edema ankle and lower calve edema is pitting , abdomen is still swollen, and I have significant pain and aching in my hips and ishial tuberosities and the ache is a deep one.

This edema started 2 weeks after surgery and is progressively getting worse. I have never had edema in my life. I am very concerned as my life is significantly disrupted due to all this. The edema is on both sides of lower extremities and I do not have any symptoms of a blood clot, so what is going on? Dear Suzette — Lymphedema in most cases appears in one extremity only. If both extremities are effected, there is most often another underlying reason for the swelling, especially if the edema appears to be symmetrically.

I would suggest you consult with your treating physician. Diuretics have to be used for some medical conditions other than lymphedema but there actually have been studies done that suggest the use of diuretics promotes a fluid movement which increases the protein content which promotes the growth of fibrosis. At least to me, it was finally something I could save on my phone […]. I have lymphedema throughout my right leg up to the buttock area. Compression pantyhose do not compress in the upper thigh area.

There are quite a few options to manage swelling in that area. Some are more expensive, like the Solaris night shorts http: I was diagnosed with lymphedema in , and I have had basically ZERO help in the maintenance or care of my limb.

They wrapped my legs in ace bandages and gave me a prescription for compression stockings. I wore the stocking religiously and they only made things worse. No one really instructed me about what to do, other than wear the stockings. My legs continued to swell, at one point so severely I could not bend my legs sufficiently to get in the car. They burst open and clear fluid OR blood would ooze or spurt out.

I have scars on the top of my leg where they burst open and the blood spurt out. This went on for two years. I wound up in the hospital requiring emergency surgery to have the device and the lead removed, and I then required 8 LONG weeks in a nursing home so my incision could be cleaned and packed.

I had about a nine inch long hole in my tukus where the device and the lead had been and since the infection was so persistent, it was packed so it would heal from the inside out.

While in the nursing home, I discovered that if I stayed in bed with the lower half of the bed raised high enough, the swelling in my legs went down. My left leg is the worst, but my right leg will eventually swell if enough time goes by. The social worker at the nursing home said she would order me a bed, but I never got one. And recently I tried again to get one, and was told I could not get a double bed to accommodate both my husband and myself. So I went for a month or more with nothing to elevate my legs, and immediately, within a week, they were more swollen than they were when I went into the hospital.

The back of my upper legs split open and oozed a yellow semi-thick fluid every night. I clicked on the ad and low and behold, it was a site for leg rests designed by a vascular surgeon to assist patients and others to elevate their legs at the proper angles and heights.

My husband ordered me one immediately and I got it two days later. I placed it on the bed and made my way dragging my legs up on the bed and then up on the legrest. By the end of the weekend they were back to normal size. It was nothing short of miraculous for me! I truly wish there were more I could do, something permanent, something that would allow me to not have to keep my legs up, all the time. The surgery was on my left foot, the same leg that the lymphedema swelling always starts on.

My reason for bringing this up, is there a surgery that could repair the damage done to the capillaries if it is found that the capillaries in my left foot were damaged.

How a few simple exercises can improve your running