The Effect of Multidimensional Physiotherapy Program on Shoulder Function, Pain, and Lymphedema After Surgery in Elderly Breast Cancer Patients

Tunay V., AKBAYRAK T., Kaya S.

TOPICS IN GERIATRIC REHABILITATION, vol.28, no.4, pp.281-286, 2012 (SSCI) identifier identifier


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of manuel therapy and exercise treatment on shoulder function, pain, and lymphedema in elderly breast cancer patients. This study was carried out on 40 women older than 65 years with radical mastectomy (8-44 months after surgery), following breast cancer between years 2007 and 2011. All of the cases were treated with complex decongestive physiotherapy, manuel therapy, and exercises. Assessments included body composition (TANITA TBF-300, Japan), pain (visual analogue scale), shoulder range of motion (universal goniometer), muscle strength (Lovett muscle strength test), arm volume (circumferential measurement), function (DASH), and quality of life (SF-36). Subjects experienced significant decreases in pain and increases in function, range of motion at flexion, abduction and external rotation, muscle strength and physical functioning, role-physical, role-emotional and bodily pain subscales of quality of life (P < .05). Lymphoedema volume values were also decreased during the intervention period (P < .05). This study showed the effectiveness of manual therapy and complex decongestive physiotherapy in elderly postoperative breast cancer patients. The use of manuel therapy may help relieve the pain and increase the shoulder range of motion.