Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a set of techniques developed by Vodder to help the function of lymphatic system. In lymphedema the goal is to reduce swelling, maintain reduction and bring lymphedema back to latency stage. This is achieved by MLD which removes the excess plasma proteins from tissues via lymphatic vessels and tissue channels. Maintaining reduction is attained by compression garments.
Lymphatic capillaries are supported by anchoring filaments. MLD working phase stroke stretch stimuli is applied to the subcutaneous tissues resulting in manipulation of the anchoring filaments of lymph capillaries and smooth musculature in walls of lymph vessels. Stretching these filaments results in increased intake of lymph. The light directional pressure works to move lymph fluid in appropriate direction. During resting phase of strokes initial lymph vessels absorb fluid from interstitial spaces.
MLD strokes also increase contraction frequency of lymphatic vessels, so that more volume of lymphatic fluid can be transported. MLD reverses lymph flow in lymphedema. The lymph fluid is rerouted to healthy lymph nodes. MLD also results in increases venous return, is soothing since it promotes parasympathetic response and decreases pain perception.
MLD can be used after trauma and surgeries since it removes fibrin from initial lymphatics resulting in decreased formation of scar tissue. As well as, is analgesic and reduces swelling. MLD is also helpful with rheumatoid arthritis and chronic sinusitis.
Foam roller is a great tool to warm up before working out and cool down to release myofascial trigger points after workout. It aids in stretching the fascia and promotes normal range of motion as well as muscle recovery. To release the trigger points in a muscle, you roll on a roller and stop on points that are painful and refer pain into other areas or locally. Working on tight muscles will cause some discomfort and pain, but it should be tolerable. The release of trigger points restores normal muscle movement and decreases pain. By using foam roller, you increase circulation to the muscles.
How to foam roll?
Apply moderate pressure to specific muscle/muscle group using your bodyweight. Roll slowly about inch per second. Once you find a painful spot, stop and hold position for 30 seconds. Relax as much possible. The pain should be decreasing as you hold on a spot. If the direct pressure is too painful, work on areas around it to release it first and come back to painful spot, after other tissue around has been released. Do not roll on a joint or bone.
Feeling sore the next day is normal. Drink lots of water to flush out any muscle metabolites and lactic acid. If you are sore next day wait 24-48 hours before working on the same area.