5 BENEFITS OF LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE:
Exercises Specifically for Upper Extremity
- Active Circumduction of the Arm
- Place arm up at a 90 degree angle, reach towards the ceiling, and move your arm in circular motion. Do this 5 times in each direction. (Fig. 1)
- Exercises on a Foam Roll
- Preform horizontal abduction and adduction of the shoulder as well as flexion and extension of the shoulder. (Fig. 2)
- Bilateral Hand Press
- With arms elevated to shoulder level, press palms together (Isometric contraction) while breathing in for a count if 5 as many as 5 times.
- Doorway/Corner Stretch, Towel Stretch
- Hold position and stretch for several seconds with each repetition. (Fig. 3)
- Unilateral Arm Exercises with Arm Elevated
- Patient sitting with the arm resting at 90º on table
- Rotation of the arm (turn palm up, then down by rotating the shoulder). Flexion and extension of the elbow. Circumduction of the wrist. Open and close the hand
- Bilateral Horizontal Abduction and Adduction
- Place hands behind head, horizontally abduct and adduct the shoulder by bringing the elbows together and then pointing them laterally.
- Overhead Wall Press
- Face the wall, place one or both palms on the wall with hands above shoulder level. Gently press palms into the wall for several seconds, repeat 5 times.
- Wrist and Finger Exercises
- Suspended wall press, press your palm against the wall then press fingers against wall as if playing piano. (Fig. 4)
- Press hands together, palm to palm, above shoulder level. One finger at a time, press matching fingers together and pull apart. (Fig. 5)
- Partial Curl-Up
- With hand on the thighs repeat 5 times.
- In supine position with the involved arm elevated on pillow for approximately 30 minutes after completing exercise sequence.
Exercises Specifically for Lower Extremity
- Unilateral Knee to Chest Movements
- Start with the non affected leg followed by the non affected leg. Repeat 15 times.
- Bilateral Knee to Chest
- In supine position, flex both hips and knees, grasp both thighs and gently pull them to chest. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Gluteal Setting and Posterior Pelvic Tilts
- Repeat 5 times, holding for several seconds and releasing slowly.
- External Rotation of the Hips
- Lie in supine position with legs elevated, resting on a wall. Externally rotate hips, pressing buttocks together and holding the outwardly rotated position. Repeat several times. (Fig. 6)
- Knee Flexion to Clear the Popliteal Area
- In supine position lift affected leg, slip the ankle on the table to buttocks. Repeat 15 times.
- Active Ankle Movements
- With both legs elevated against the wall, or with involved leg propped against door frame, plantarflex the ankle and curl toes, then dorsiflex ankle and extend toes as far as possible. Repeat several times. (Fig. 7)
- Circumduct the foot clockwise and counterclockwise for several repetitions.
- Wall Slides in External Rotation
- With feet propped up on wall, legs externally rotated, with heels toughing, slide both feet down the wall as far as possible and then back up. Repeat several times. (Fig. 8)
- Leg Movements in the Air
- On your back with feet pointing to the ceiling, alternately move the legs in a scissoring motion. Repeat several times. (Fig. 9)
- Hip Adduction Across the Midline
- Rest non affected leg, affected leg is bent from above and crosses body in rocking motion. (Fig. 10)
- Partial Curl-Ups
- With hand on thighs, repeat 5 times.
- With feet elevated against wall, rest in position for several minutes. Then partially elevate legs on wedge and remain in position for 30 minutes.
External Rotation of the Hips (Figure 6)
Active Circumduction of the Arm (Figure 1)
Wrist and Finger Exercises(Figure 4)
Hip Adduction Across the Midline (Figure 10)
Active Ankle Movements (Figure 7)
Exercises Common to Upper and Lower Extremity Sequences
- Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Inhale deeply through the nose, exhale by blowing air out of the mouth, as if blowing through a straw.
- Posterior Pelvic Tilts and Partial Curl-Ups
- Unilateral Knee-to-Chest Movements
- Flex one hip and and knee and grasp lower leg. Pull knee to chest (15 times). Repeat with the other side.
- Cervical Range of Motion
- Rotation, Lateral flexion. (5 seconds, 5 times)
- Scapular Exercises
- Elevation and depression (Shoulder Shrug). Active shoulder rolls. Active retraction and protraction. (5 seconds, 5 times)
What is Lymphatic Drainage?
Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a specialized, gentle type of skin massage and an important part of lymphedema treatment. The aim is to encourage the extra lymph fluid to move away from the swollen area so it can drain normally.
This treatment is commonly used for cancer patients, or post-surgery swelling in the lymph nodes.
Wrist and Finger Exercises(Figure 5)
Exercises on a Foam Roll (Figure 2)
Wall Slides in External Rotation (Figure 8)
Doorway Stretch (Figure 3)
BENEFICIAL LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE EXERCISES:
Leg Movements in the Air (Figure 9)
IMPROVES PRE AND POST SURGERY RECOVERY
Reduces inflammation and diminishes healing time
HELPS WITH PREGNANCY SIDE -EFFECTS
Improves comfort in legs and feet due to excessive swelling
IMPROVES IMMUNE SYSTEM
Facilitates waste removal at a cellular level and assists with bringing nutrients and oxygen to cells.
Supports the body’s natural circulation which promotes a stronger immune system, decreases constipation, headaches and reduces pain.
IMPROVES LYMPHATIC FLOW
Reduces swelling and inflammation of lymphatic system.