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Roskopf in the Box – Watershed of Lymphatic Drainage

The purpose of this article is to show you how to decrease your soreness either during or following workouts, or help you understand why sometimes you may be sore for a lot longer than you think you should be.
 
The lymphatic drainage system is organized into two separate, and very unequal drainage areas. The right drainage area clears the right arm and chest. The left drainage area clears all of the other areas of the body including both legs, the lower trunk, upper left side of the chest, and the left arm.  On the right side of the body all of the orange area needs to find it’s way up to the black dot at right base of the neck. The black dot on the left side of the base of the neck is responsible for clearing out all the white areas of the body. Essentially all lymphatic fluid that is not absorbed back into the blood stream in the body, which is about 10%, has to find it’s way back up to the base of the neck. This is where it is drained into the left and right subclavian veins, black dots, also known as the terminis.

If the terminis at the base of the neck gets clogged or backs up, it can slow down drainage of the entire lymphatic system, so it is important to keep the neck and chest muscles moving and stretched for the entire system to do it’s job efficiently. 

 
Now look at the direction of some of the arrows and where they lead. You can see the shoulder drains into the armpit and look over at the low back on the image on the right. Fluid from this area has to move around to the front of the hip and groin to be drained. This is one of the reasons why if your lower back is sore, it doesn’t get better until the front of the hip is mobilized and exercised. Get it?  
 
Basically, if you want to decrease soreness, you can lightly massage or use your favorite mobility tool around your collarbones, around the armpit area and keep that hip flexor and quad region open. I think these are three of the most important areas. 
 
Anytime I work on somebody I assess and take lymphatics into account. Often what feels like an injury to an athlete is really just a back up in the lymphatic system. 
 

The lymphatic system is pretty complex and has a lot of parts to it. If you would like details, I suggest going to:http://www.lymphnotes.com/article.php/id/151/. This site has a good basic overview.

To contact Rich, either give him a call at
503-939-2524 or email him atrroskopf@beavertoncrossfit.com. 

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