Vibration Therapy for Lymphedema
Vibration Therapy for Lymphedema
Vibration therapy is well recognized for its effectiveness in treating lymphedema. The rapidly repeated muscle contraction induced by vibration works perfectly with the mechanism of lymphatic system. Vibration therapy is a natural and practical solution for facilitating lymphatic drainage.
- What drives lymph flow?
- What is lymphatic drainage?
- What is lymphedema?
- How does vibration therapy facilitate lymphatic drainage?
What Drives Lymph Flow?
Unlike cardiovascular system which has heart to pump and suck blood, lymphatic system mainly relies on the contraction of lymph vessels (internal drive) and the contraction of surrounding muscles (external drive) to push the lymph to flow.
Lymph vessels not only carry lymph, but also push the lymph to flow.
The wall of lymph vessel is mainly comprised of a layer of smooth muscles which contract involuntarily at a certain pace. The contraction pressure pushes the lymph to flow.
Lymphatic system also relies on the movement of the surrounding tissues to squeezes lymph vessels from outside, facilitating lymph to flow on its direction.
Skeletal muscles contraction, breathing, arterial pulsation, and other body parts activities all assist lymph movement.
The required fluid pressure and flow rate for lymphatic system is low. If we keep a moderate physical activities in our daily routine, we can obtain sufficient external drive to supplement the internal drive for a well functional lymph circulation.
However, if our lymphatic system is impaired, we will need more external drive to assist lymph circulation. Vibration therapy can serve this purpose well.
What is Lymphatic Drainage?
Lymphatic drainage is an important function of lymphatics system. It is a process of draining the metabolic-waste-carrying tissue fluid to the lymphatic system, and after filtration through lymph nodes, discharge the fluid to the bloodstream.
Lymphatic system has a single-direction valve mechanism to keep the lymph flow in the direction from lymphatic capillaries in tissues to lymph nodes, then to lymphatic trunks at the neck, and finally to the veins.
What is Lymphedema?
If lymphatic system cannot effectively drain the metablic-waste-carrying tissue fluid from tissues, the trapped fluid can cause tissue swelling and more serious health problems. This medical condition is called lymphedema.
Lack of physical activities, certain medical conditions and treatments can undermine the functionality of lymphatic system and cause lymphedema.
How Does Vibration Therapy Improve Lymphatic Drainage?
Skeletal muscle contraction plays important role in facilitating lymph flow. Lymph vessels are closely intertwined with skeletal muscles. Muscle contraction creates external pressure on lymph vessels and assist lymph flow.
Vibration can induce involuntary rapidly repeated skeletal muscle contraction because of the muscle's natural stretch reflex response.
The rapidly repeated skeletal muscle contraction creates fast-pace pumping strokes on the adjacent lymph vessels. Such a dynamic pressure effectively boosts tissue fluid exchange in lymph capillaries, promotes lymph flow in vessels, and facilitates lymphatic drainage.
In addition, the physiological process of muscle contraction involves influx and release of interstitial fluid in and out of muscle cells. This process also promotes lymph circulation.
Vibration therapy fits well with the natural mechanism of lymphatic system. It is a natural and fundamental solution for lymphatic drainage improvement and lymphedema treatment.
Lymphedema often occurs in legs and feet. A high frequency whole body vibration plate can practically work well on legs and feet. Users can see lymphatic drainage improvement in a few days of use.
- Understanding of Lymph Circulation
- By Olivier STÜCKER, Catherine PONS-HIMBERT, and Elisabeth LAEMMEL Université Paris
- Lymphedema - Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
- By Mayor Clinic
- Jay Tang
Interpreting life science from an engineering perspective.