Newsletter excerpts: 10 New Studies on Lymphatic Drainage--February 2021

Posted by: Michelle Burns
Date Posted: February 24, 2021

Here is some of the information I recently shared in the February newsletter. Each newsletter has a specific focus.  This newsletter is focused on lymphatic drainage. If you would be interested in receiving my newsletters, please head over to my contact page and sign up.


  1. Brain Lymphatics role in multiple sclerosis
  2. relationship between lymphatic drainage and Rheumatoid arthritis
  3. Effectiveness of lymphatic drainage and kinesiotaping following total knee replacement
  4. Manual lymphatic drainage following orthognathic surgery
  5. Effectiveness of 4 types of bandages and kinesiotaping for breast cancer lymphedema
  6. Effect of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation on lymph flow
  7. Manual lymphatic drainage during intensive phase of breast cancer lymphedema
  8. Manual lymphatic drainage for stress reduction
  9. Effect of lymphatic drainage maneuvers on the nervous system
  10. Effectiveness of kinesiotaping after total knee arthroplasty


1. An article, titled UVA Identifies Brain’s Lymphatic Vessels as New Avenue to Treat Multiple Sclerosis, published in UVAToday in Sept 2018, suggests: Lymphatic vessels that clean the brain of harmful material play a crucial role in the development and progression of multiple sclerosis. 

2.  An article published in Arthritis & Rheumatology in Aug 2020 titled Altered Lymphatic Vessel Anatomy and Markedly Diminished Lymph Clearance in Affected hands of Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis concludes; Lymphatic drainage in the hands of RA patients with active disease was reduced compared to controls. These findings provide a plausible mechanism for exacerbation of synovitis and joint damage.

3. A study, Effects of combining manual lymphatic drainage and kinesiotaping on pain, edema, and range of motion in patients with total knee replacement: a randomized clinical trial, published in International Journal of Rehabilitation Research in Aug 2020 concludes: the treatment with a combination kinesiotaping and lymphatic drainage provided better results on pain and edema observed as early as the first days after the intervention. No difference was found between kinesiotaping and lymphatic drainage individually.

4. A study titled The effect of manual lymphatic drainage on patient recovery after orthognathic surgery—a qualitative and 3-dimensional facial analysis, published in Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology in Nov 2020, concludes: No significant difference could be found between patients treated with or without MLD after orthognathic surgery with regard to swelling and pain.

5. A study, Effectiveness of four types of bandages and kinesio-tape for treating breast-cancer-related lymphedema: a randomized, single-blind, clinical trial, published in Clinical Rehabilitation in Jun 2020 concluded: simplified multilayer seems more effective and more comfortable than multilayer bandage. Cohesive bandage seems as effective as simplified multilayer and multilayer bandage. Kinesio taping seems the least effective.

6. A study, Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation in the functionality and lymphatic circulation of the upper limb of women undergoing breast cancer treatment, published in Clinical Biomechanics in Dec 2020, concludes: proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation favors an increase in muscle strength and range of motion, but not in lymphatic flow, in women undergoing surgical treatment for breast cancer.

7. A study titled Manual Lymphatic Drainage May Not Have an Additional Effect on the Intensive Phase of Breast Cancer-related Lymphedema: A Randomized Controlled Trial published in Lymphatic Research and Biology in Oct 2020 compared the results of two treatments—both included compressive multilayer bandaging and exercise. One group also received MLD before bandaging. The study findings indicated that both treatment approaches were effective in patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema. However, no additional effect of MLD was found with regard to percent reduction in arm volume in the intensive treatment period. 

8.  A study titled The effect of manual lymph drainage on the changes of autonomic nervous system and pain in stressed hospital office employees published in Journal of the Korea Society of Computer and Information in Nov 2020 and summarized in English found: there were significant differences in sympathetic nerve, parasympathetic nerve, and pain with manual lymphatic drainage. There were significant differences between groups for the sympathetic nerve, parasympathetic nerve, and pain. Therefore, manual lymphatic drainage is an effective intervention for reducing the stress and pain of stressed hospital office employees.

9. A study titled Effects of different neck manual lymphatic drainage maneuvers on the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal systems in healthy students, published in Journal of Clinical Medicine Nov 2020, compared the effects in four groups—control, placebo, Vodder, and Godoy-- and found: no statistically significant differences were found between groups in descriptive data; neither in saturation of oxygen, diastolic blood pressure and cervical range of motion. Significant differences were found in favor of Vodder in heart rate diminution and in cardiac-rate-reduction. A significant difference in respiratory rate diminution is found in favor of the Godoy group in comparison with the control group. A significant difference is found in favor of the Godoy group in systolic blood pressure decrease even in pressure pain threshold. 

10. A study titled Effectiveness of Kinesio Taping on Pain and Function after Total Knee Arthroplasty, published in PJMHS in Dec 2020 compared standard physical therapy and standard physical therapy combined with kinesiotaping. The study concluded positive effects of treatment in both groups but the group that included kinesiotaping exhibited relatively greater improvements in terms of the mean difference of Numeric Pain Rating Scale and Lysholm Knee Scoring Scale. 

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