Significant reduction of total arm volume as well as both absolute and relative lymphedema volume, implying that pole walking can be included in arm lymphedema treatment programs

The benefit of exercise for breast cancer-treated women is well documented. However, studies of cardiovascular fitness training for women with breast cancer-related arm lymphedema are rare. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of intensive pole walking on arm lymphedema in women treated for breast cancer. Thirty-five women with unilateral lymphedema were included and twenty-three completed an eight-week exercise intervention consisting of pole walking 3–5 times per week, for 30–60 min, at 70%–80% of their maximum heart rate, preceded by a two-week control period. Measurements of arm lymphedema (water displacement method), body weight, cardiovascular fitness (sub-maximal bicycle ergometer test) and subjective assessments (disability of the arm, shoulder and hand (DASH) questionnaire; heaviness and tightness using a visual analogue scale (VAS); and well-being) were performed before the control period and before and after the exercise intervention. The results indicated a significant reduction in total arm volume of the lymphedema arm (p ¼ 0.001), in lymphedema absolute volume (p ¼ 0.014) and lymphedema relative volume (p ¼ 0.015). Significant decreases of heart rate (p ¼ 0.004), DASH score (p ¼ 0.053) and rating of tightness in the arm (p ¼ 0.043) were found. Positive and negative influences on well-being were reported. The conclusion of this study is that pole walking is feasible for breast cancer-treated women with arm lymphedema.

2016-07-02T11:17:36+00:00January 9th, 2016|Exercise, lymphedema|0 Comments

Leave A Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons