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ORIGINAL ARTICLE   Open accessopen access

European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2023 February;59(1):85-93

DOI: 10.23736/S1973-9087.22.07698-5

Copyright © 2022 THE AUTHORS

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license which allows users to copy and distribute the manuscript, as long as this is not done for commercial purposes and further does not permit distribution of the manuscript if it is changed or edited in any way, and as long as the user gives appropriate credits to the original author(s) and the source (with a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI) and provides a link to the license.

lingua: Inglese

The effect of myofascial release in patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema: a cross-over randomized controlled trial

Yena KIM 1, Eun Y. PARK 2, Haneul LEE 1

1 Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea; 2 College of Nursing, Gachon University, Incheon, South Korea

AIM: This study aimed to compare the effects of myofascial release (MFR) on upper extremity volume in patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL).
DESIGN: A randomized, single-blinded, cross-over, controlled trial.
SETTING: An outpatient rehabilitation clinical setting.
POPULATION: Thirty patients with BCRL.
METHODS: Within a crossover design with randomized treatment sequences, fifteen subjects received MFR for 4 weeks, followed by 4 weeks of washout period, and then received placebo MFR and the other fifteen subjects received interventions in the reverse order. Each session had a 60 min process including either MFR or placebo MFR for 30 min, followed by complete decongestive therapy for 30 min twice a week. Upper limb volume as the primary outcome and subjective pain, shoulder range of motion (ROM), chest mobility, shoulder function, and quality of life as secondary outcomes were assessed before and at the end of each intervention period.
RESULTS: There were significant differences in upper limb volume after both MFR and placebo MFR (P<0.05) while no significant difference between MFR and placebo MFR treatments was found (P>0.05). MFR-based treatment also achieved a greater improvement than placebo MFR-based treatment in subjective pain and shoulder ROM (P<0.05), except for internal rotation, and shoulder function.
CONCLUSIONS: MFR-based treatment showed clinical improvement in shoulder function, induced by decreased edema volume and pain, and improved ROM and chest mobility. However, a further study with parallel randomized controlled trials to confirm what was achieved in the present study.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: MFR-based treatment is considered an important part of BCRL rehabilitation. Moreover, MFR-based treatment may be safe for patients with BCRL.

KEY WORDS: Breast cancer lymphedema; Myofascial release therapy; Pain; Range of motion, articular; Shoulder; Quality of life

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