Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies
Lymphedema affects 3–58% of survivors of breast cancer and can result in upper extremity impairments. Exercise can be beneficial in managing lymphedema. Yoga practice has been minimally studied for its effects on breast cancer related lymphedema (BCRL). The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of yoga on arm volume, quality of life (QOL), self-reported arm function, and hand grip strength in women with BCRL. Six women with BCRL participated in modified Hatha yoga 3×/week for 8 weeks. Compression sleeves were worn during yoga sessions. Arm volume, QOL, self-reported arm function, and hand grip strength were measured at baseline, half-way, and at the conclusion of yoga practice. Arm volume significantly decreased from baseline (2423.3 ml ± 597.2) to final measures (2370.8 ml ± 577.2) (p = .02). No significant changes in QOL (p = .12), self-reported arm function (p = .34), or hand grip strength (p = .26) were found. Yoga may be beneficial in the management of lymphedema.
breast cancer, lymphedema, yoga, arm function
Fisher, Mary Insana; Donahoe-Fillmore, Betsy; Leach, Laura; O'Malley, Colleen; Paeplow, Cheryl; Prescott, Tess; and Merriman, Harold L., "Effects of Yoga on Arm Volume among Women with Breast Cancer Related Lymphedema: A Pilot Study" (2014). Physical Therapy Faculty Publications. 17.