Does Manual Lymphatic Drainage Have Any Effect on Pain Threshold and Tolerance of Different Body Parts?

Lymphat Res Biol. 2019 Dec;17(6):651-654. doi: 10.1089/lrb.2019.0005. Epub 2019 Jul 19.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effects of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) on pain threshold and pain tolerance of different body parts. Methods and Results: Thirty healthy individuals (10 women and 20 men) participated in this study voluntarily. Pain threshold and pain tolerance of the upper and lower limbs were evaluated with an algometer before and after MLD. Pain threshold and pain tolerance were assessed on the mid-ulna, hypothenar area, quadriceps, and mid-tibia before and after MLD. There was a significant increase in the pain threshold of the mid-ulna, quadriceps, and mid-tibia and the pain tolerance of the mid-tibia after the application of MLD (p < 0.05). Conclusions: This study demonstrated that MLD increased pain threshold and pain tolerance, which may be important for pain control and other components of complex decongestive therapy, such as compression and exercise.

Keywords: algometer; complex decongestive therapy; pain threshold; pain tolerance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage*
  • Organ Specificity
  • Pain / diagnosis*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / surgery*
  • Pain Management* / methods
  • Pain Threshold*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult