The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and ducts that parallels the circulatory system in the body. It facilitates the drainage of excess fluid and removal of wastes and toxins. Also contained within this system are lymph nodes. Most people are familiar with those in the front of their neck. They are also predominantly located in the armpit, groin, knee, around the heart and deep within the abdomen.
Who Benefits From Lymphatic Drainage?
Many patients benefit from lymphatic drainage. Some conditions commonly treated include…
– Acute sports injuries such as sprains and strains
– Pregnancy lymphoedema
– Breast surgery – eg axillary lymph node removal due to breast cancer
– After surgery – to promote healing and reduce scar tissue formation
– Sinusitis or upper respiratory tract infection
– Chronic fatigue syndrome
– Certain medications can also cause lymphoedema
How does it work?
I like to use the analogy of a traffic jam when treating an area to promote drainage. Using the example of an ankle sprain… We need first to open up the lymphatic channels in the low back and groin region so as to promote flow from the leg. We then work down towards the knee and finally ankle. As osteopaths we all work slightly different however techniques employed in these treatments may include things such as gentle massage, stretching, joint articulation or dry needling. This will depend on your particular condition.
Lymphatic drainage may form part or all of your osteopathic treatment. Some of our patients are unaware of these benefits but are quick to realize that their sinuses are feeling clearer and lighter or legs are less swollen after their treatment.
What else can I do?
There are many home-based strategies that will assist you to manage your lymphoedema yourself. These include…
– Compression garments
– Limb elevation and rest
– Gentle exercise such as hydrotherapy
– Vaporizers or steam inhalation for sinusitis
– Talk to your GP about a medication review if required
Phone the clinic on 9804 5588 or book online today!