Low-Intensity Resistance Training and Compression Garment in the Management of Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema: a single-blinded randomized controlled trial

Mohamed Omar, Rehab Gwada, Ghada Said Mohammed Omar, Rokia EL-Sabagh, Abd–EL Aziz Mersal

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Abstract Purpose: There is limited evidence regarding the combined effect of exercise and compression garment on breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL). Therefore, we investigate the effect of low-resistance training alone or in combination with compression garment on lymphedema volume, self-reported lymphedema symptoms and shoulder mobility. Methods: Thirty eight participant with unilateral BCRL (10-40%) of excess limb volume (ELV) were randomly assigned to receive low-intensity training (Ex-group, n=19) or exercises and compression garment (ExCom-group, n=19). The outcome measures included percentage reduction of ELV, self-reported lymphedema symptoms of pain, heaviness, and tightness using visual analogue scale (VAS), and shoulder range of motion. A blinded therapist performed all measures at baseline (W0), immediately after intervention in week 8 (W8) and at follow-up at week 12 (W12). Results: No significant difference between the two groups at baseline was detected yet, analysis showed a statistically significant improvement in the % reduction of ELV (p < 0.01), and in the pain severity (p < 0.05), sensation of heaviness (p <0.05) and tightness (P <0.001) and shoulder range of motion (P < 0.05) at the end of intervention (W8) and at follow-up (W12) in both groups. The mode of treatment was equally effective in both groups with no significant difference over time. Conclusion: It is suggested that low-intensity resistance training irrespective of garment use was found to reduce effectively affected limb volume and BCRL symptoms, accompanying with improvement in shoulder mobility. These effects can be sustained for 12 weeks. Keywords: Breast cancer-related lymphedema, exercise, and compression garment
TidsskriftJournal of Cancer Education
Udgave nummer35
Sider (fra-til)1101-1110
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2020


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