Monday, February 27, 2017

Basics of the Lymphatic System

Post schedule for the next 5 weeks;
  • We are starting a new series for Mondays diving into the topic of the lymphatic system (immune), lymphatic pathologies, and compression (its uses and how it relates to these body systems)!  Along with these Monday posts, Wednesday will now be based on some product reviews from our blog partners/sponsors, and Friday will be a new series of posts dedicated to the Crossfit Open Workouts with Tips and Strategies on how to approach them and perform your best!  Make sure to pay attention to the Friday posts for GIVEAWAYS courtesy of our blog sponsors!
  • -
  • CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of our RockTape 17.1 Open Workout Giveaway!
    • Brittany Swaim -  RockTape Hat and Rock Sauce Chill!
    • Nick Hawkins -  RockTape T Shirt and RockTape!

First lets talk about the lymphatic system, in terms of structure and function to better understand the pathology associated with it ( discussed in the next post!) and how compression (sleeves, pumps, shorts etc) can help get rid of swelling.

The lymphatic system is a one way system of tubules that drain inter-cellular spaces into lymphatic capillaries, then into lymphatic trunks, then into lymphatic ducts, then into subclavian veins that then drains back into blood.  Lymphatics are located everywhere in the body except the CNS, finger nails, hair, bone or the cornea.  Larger lymphatic vessels contain valves comparable to valves of veins.  These valves prevent backflow of lymph within the vessels, especially those of the extremities and assure normal lymph flow toward the thoracic cavity.  Lymph nodes exist at intervals and sperficial clusters of them are present in high number at the cervical area, axillary area, and inguinal area.

Lymph Nodes act to:
  • Filter (bacteria, metastases)
  • Product lymphocytes (which produce antibodies for immune system)
  • Produce phagocytes (which ingest bacteria)
Lymph nodes filter and purify lymph before the fluid reaches the venous system.  Fixed macrophages in walls of the lymphatics engulf debris or pathogens that are in the lymph as it passes through.  Other antigens stimulate lymphocyte activity, that kicks off the immune response.  Lymph nodes provide an early warning system for infection and trigger activity in the macrophages nd the lymphocytes in neighboring lymph nodes.  Certain foreign substances may be permanently stored in lymph nodes, such as such as silica and coal dust particles.  Bacteria, viruses and dead cell debris are stored here and named "friendly" or "unfriendly".  If "unfriendly" it triggers an immune response to take care of and eliminate the problem.

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