How Osteopathy Can Help Swelling

…..and what is behind this swelling?

Do you or anyone you know, suffer from abnormal swelling? Have you heard of the lymphatic system and how this plays a role? Find out how Osteopathy can help balance fluid retention…



At the heart of Osteopathy lies the principle of maintaining fluid balance and equilibrium throughout the body. We’re all about keeping the flow going. But sometimes flow of fluid in the body can become compromised, maybe due to injury or disease, and then congestion in the tissues occurs and things start to stagnate. Sometimes a dysfunctional lymphatic system can lead to a type of swelling called lymphedema, which is essentially a backlog of lymph fluid.


Hang on, whats lymph fluid?

It is fluid that travels through lymph vessels. Ah ok – and? Well, essentially lymph vessels pick up excess fluid and nutrients that have leaked out of the arteries due to high pressure from the amount of blood pumping through them. These lymph vessels ensure the leaked nutrients and fluids are not building up in surrounding tissues (aka swelling) and instead- are returned to the heart to help deliver oxygen and nutrients. Very efficient right?! Mmhmm


Now, lymph is not pumped along by any mechanics, unlike the heart. It relies on the movement of our muscles to keep on flowing- another reason why moving is good for you! Before the lymph fluid returns to the heart, it passes through filtration stations (lymph nodes) in various parts of the body. This is where any nasty bacteria, viruses or cancer cells are dealt with swiftly by our immune cells. This freshly cleaned lymph can then flow back into to the heart and be considered blood plasma again.


What can cause swelling? 

Swelling occurs when the lymphatic system is not functioning properly. Fluid flow can be compromised due injury or disease and creates congestion – leading to reduction of movement, pain and imbalance throughout. This type of swelling is referred to as lymphedema and generally occurs in the hands, arms, feet and legs.

Osteos love their lymphatic systems and through manual therapy, can help aid restoration of fluid imbalances and support the system most of us forget about!


To book your consult today with one of our Osteopaths today click here!