Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Athletic Training

Committee Chair

Michelle A Sandrey


Objective. To evaluate the methodological quality of edema reduction during acute injury studies found in the current literature. Data sources. Pubmed (1951--2010), MEDLINE, ScienceDirect (1995--2010), CINAHL with Full Text (1982--2010), SPORTDiscus Full Text (1800--2010), MDConsult (1980--2010), Science Direct (1940--2010), Google Scholar were searched using the terms lymphatic system, edema reduction, inflammation process individually. Second, the term lymphatic system was combined with each of the following words: injury, acute, treatment, edema, cryotherapy, electrical stimulation, compression, deep oscillation and Kinesio Tape. Third, citations were cross referenced from studies to include literature not found in the original search. Study selection. Studies were included based on the following inclusion criteria: (1) written in the English language; (2) edema reduction or a form of the word lymphatic must be in the title; (3) the abstract must include the terms lymphatic system, edema, modalities and treatment; (4) acute injury must be the chief complaint in the study; (5) and the study must be a randomized controlled trial. The exclusion criteria included any chronic injuries or conditions. Data extraction. All the studies that meet the inclusion criteria were collected and evaluated via the PEDro Scale and a comparison of their effect size. Each study was read first without the use of the PEDro Scale, then upon completion it was read again with the PEDro Scale by both evaluators. Depending on the checklists completed by the evaluators each study was given a score from 0--10. Upon completion the final scores of the investigators were compared, and differences were discussed until a final score was agreed upon. Data synthesis. There were 13 studies extracted in this review. They varied in population, location, type of treatment, inclusion/exclusion criteria, methodological quality and effect size. The methodological quality ranged from a 2 to a 8 with an average of 4.5. The effect size comparison ranged from -3.27 to 0.93 which shows the confidence interval crossed 0 demonstrating that most of the treatments were ineffective with only one massage study proven to have a significant treatment effect. Conclusions. Treatment methods for edema reduction through the lymphatic system is not well researched. There are several different treatments that have yet to be studied. Athletic trainers currently perform treatments without empirical evidence to support it.