Manual Lymphatic Drainage

The experts at Healers of Motion Physical Therapy in Pembroke Pines, FL can help strengthen your body and teach you how to manage the symptoms of lymphatic build-up. If you are looking to receive MLD as part of an individualized physical therapy treatment plan, contact us today!

What is manual lymphatic drainage?

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is an intervention used to help the body move fluid that has built up in certain areas. This massage focuses on the lymphatic system, which has tiny glands called lymph nodes that help fight infection and keep fluid moving within the body. When these lymph nodes are damaged or become sluggish, fluid accumulates. There are a variety of reasons why the lymphatic system may become sluggish, in addition to lymphedema.

Benefits of manual lymphatic drainage.

Research in the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation states that individuals with fluid buildup demonstrated over 20% more lymphatic function in affected and unaffected limbs following MLD. An additional study in the Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation monitored the short-term effects of MLD on individuals with vascular insufficiency. Results showed that individuals experienced decreased pain, improved health-related quality-of-life, lower fatigue levels, and less symptoms of heaviness and edema.

Who should get manual lymphatic drainage?

While the results of MLD vary based on the person’s specific health concerns, research demonstrates the effectiveness of this intervention for individuals with fluid buildup. Dr Evelyn Mora at Healers of Motion Physical therapy has received specialized training in providing manual lymphatic drainage. We can assist individuals in managing symptoms of fluid buildup due to any of the following:

  • Liposuction
  • Body sculpting
  • The placement of implants
  • Swelling from procedures such as knee or hip replacement surgery.
  • Vascular insufficiency
  • Water retention related to pregnancy

How Healers of Motion Physical Therapy Can Help You.

Manual lymphatic drainage provided by a skilled physical therapy provider may include some of the following components:

  • An initial evaluation to ensure you are a good candidate to receive MLD, since this technique is not appropriate for individuals who have an infection, heart failure, kidney or liver problems, or a history of blood clots or strokes.
  • Clearing, which uses gentle pressure to flush the areas surrounding the collarbone, underarm, and inner elbow for an intake of fluid
  • Reabsorption, or a gentle sweeping pressure on the affected limb that is farthest away from the center of the body. This pressure allows you to slowly push fluid from that limb to achieve a more even distribution. For example, someone with swelling in the hand should massage from the fingertips to the bottom of the hand, the hand to the elbow, and the elbow to the shoulder.
  • A home program outlining how individuals can complete self-massage at home to assist in the rehabilitation process

Many individuals can benefit from manual lymphatic drainage to redistribute fluid in the body and decrease symptoms such as pain, swelling, and loss of motion. Individuals who are interested in this treatment should seek care from an experienced physical therapy provider. Skilled physical therapy professionals will complete a thorough evaluation to determine if you are a good fit for MLD. They will then use evidence based MLD techniques to address your health concerns and improve your level of functioning.


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We are committed to helping you recover and restore health. For more information about our physical therapy services please contact our office in Pembroke Pines at 305-987-8904


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