Leg Lymphedema

Lymphatic drainage exercises for legs are recommended for those suffering from lymphedema on the lower extremities. Lymphedema is the condition that results from blockage of the lymphatic fluid flow. This inability to drain well the lymphatic fluid can result from a condition (secondary lymphedema) or may happen on its own (primary lymphedema).

Understanding the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is one of the most important systems of the body. Through its protein-rich lymph and lymphatic vessels, the waste products, viruses, and bacteria are filtered out and flushed out of the body. When a condition such as a disease or a medical procedure damages the lymphatic vessels, the fluid could not drain well, causing swelling on the affected site.


There are different ways to manage lymphedema; one of which is through exercises. There are lymphatic drainage exercises for legs that can help alleviate the swelling and the discomfort of the lower extremities.

Lymphatic Drainage Exercises for Legs

If you suffer from lymphedema on the legs, then the following lymphatic drainage exercises can help you:


  1. Soft Effleurage
    Effleurage is a form of massage consists of circular strokes. It is often used to warm up the muscles for deep tissue massage.

    Doing soft effleurage on the skin can help promote lymphatic flow. For the legs, you can do soft effleurage over the skin starting from the ankles to the waist. You may also want to start from your knees and go up until the waist area.

  2. Stationary Circles on the Thigh
    With your flat hands and fingers, apply gentle pressure on the medial or inner portion of your thigh. Move gently towards the lateral or outside portion of your thigh.

  3. Stationary Circles on the Lower Leg
    Using your flat hands and fingers, apply just enough pressure on the inner and outer surface of your lower leg. The pressure should be directed towards your thigh, making sure that the entire area below the knee is covered.


These lymphatic drainage exercises for legs are best done with your compression garments in place.

Bioflect Therapy Garments offers a wide range of therapeutic garments for lymphedema. Its compression shorts, pants, and leggings are made using its unique FIR therapy fabric which promotes healing and improves local circulation. You can find more options here.


Image: Gareth Williams

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