Lymphatic Drainage Massage
What is Lymphedema?
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that are designed to rid the body from toxicity. It is essential for the body’s drainage system for cleansing and filtering out bacteria to enhance the body’s immunity. Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein- rich fluid in the tissues that causes swelling in the arms, legs and/or trunk. It most commonly occurs after surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or because of infection, obesity, inadequate blood flow in the veins, trauma, or recovery from joint replacement and other surgeries.
Without treatment, lymphedema can lead to:
- Swelling of part or all of your arm or leg, including fingers or toes.
- A feeling of heaviness or tightness.
- Restricted range of motion.
- Aching or discomfort.
- Recurring infections.
- Hardening and thickening of the skin (fibrosis).
What is Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD?)
MLD is a technique used to increase the lymph flow, which removes harmful substances from the tissues and increases immune function. It is used as one of the most helpful treatment methods to patients suffering from lymphedema.
Benefits of MLD
- Stimulate the opening of the initial lymphatic system and increase the volume of flow as much as 20 times.
- Reduces fluid buildup or edema.
- Helps body eliminate toxins and wastes.
- Improves metabolism.
- Helps break up scar tissue.
- Helps manually pump lymph for those who have had lymph nodes removed.
- Enhances tissues while healing from a sports injury which helps with regeneration.
- Enhances the quality of skin.
- Enhances the immune system.
Most Common Indications for MLD
- Orthopedic traumas, post-surgical or wound healing
- Lymphedema or edema
- Dermatological (acne, scarring, cellulite, stretch marks, etc.)
- Orthopedic conditions
- Sports medicine, fractures, carpal tunnel
- Head/neck/ear congestion, migraines
- Dry eyes, fibromyalgia, rheumatic conditions
Prevention of Lymphedema:
There is no known cure for lymphedema, but it can be treated with manual lymphatic drainage, compression garments, and exercise. Without treatment, the stages of lymphedema will progress and the symptoms will get worse. MLD treatments are most beneficial when performed in conjunction with Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), a noninvasive program performed by certified lymphedema therapists.
Physical Therapy at Westchester
a part of Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center
611 Watkins Centre Parkway, Suite 300
Midlothian, VA 23114
Hours: Monday– Thursday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm, Friday 7:00 am – 1:30 pm
View map and get directions.