The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Pilates exercises on shoulder range of motion (ROM),pain, mood, and upper-extremity (UE) function in women who had been treated for breast cancer.
The participants were 4 women who had undergone axillary dissection and radiation therapy for stage I to IV breast cancer.
A nonconcurrent, multiple-baseline, single-subject research design was used to examine the effects of Pilates exercises on the 4 outcomes.
Visual analyses of the data suggest a modest effect of the Pilates exercise program in improving shoulder abduction and external rotation ROM. Statistically significant improvement in shoulder internal and external rotation in the affected UE was shown for the one participant with pre-existing metastatic disease. The improving baselines seen for pain, mood, and UE function data made it impossible to assess the effects of Pilates exercises on those outcomes. No adverse events were experienced.
Pilates exercises may be an effective and safe exercise option for women who are recovering from breast cancer treatments; however, further research is needed.