… The lymphatic system lacks an organ that acts as a pump. Under normal conditions, lymphatic vessels are low-pressure conduits, and the same mechanisms that promote venous return in blood vessels act here as well – the milking action of active skeletal muscles, pressure changes in the thorax during breathing, and valves to prevent backflow.
… Movement of adjacent tissues is extremely important in propelling lymph through the lymphatics. When physical activity or passive movements increase, lymph flows much more rapidly (balancing the greater rate of fluid loss from the blood in such situations).
… Sometimes lymph nodes are overwhelmed by the agents they are trying to destroy. For example, when large numbers of bacteria are trapped in the nodes, the nodes become inflamed, swollen, and tender to the touch, a condition often referred to (erroneously) as swollen “glands”.