What’s This Research About?

This pilot study evaluates the effects of an eight-week yoga program on the upper body of women with stage one BCRL.

BCRL can cause loss of shoulder ROM, strength, and altered biomechanics of the shoulder girdle. These biomechanical changes can lead to difficulty with activities of daily living and limit physical activity, thereby reducing quality of life.

Yoga has been recommended as an adjunct to physiotherapy to increase flexibility, strength, and neuromuscular coordination for those with BCRL.

About The Author


Jenn Pilotti

TITLE: The Effects of Yoga on Shoulder and Spinal Actions for Women with Breast Cancer-Related Lymphoedema of the Arm: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study


PUBLICATION: BMC Complementary and alternative medicine

DATE: 2016

AUTHORS : Annette Loudon, Tony Barnett, Neil Piller, Maarten A. Immink, Denis Visentin, and Andrew D. Williams

Breast cancer-related lymphoedema (BCRL): Lymph is a thin, clear fluid that removes waste and bacteria from the tissues. Edema occurs when excess fluid builds up. Lymphoedema occurs when too much lymph builds up; after radiation and surgery during breast cancer treatment, lymphoedema occurs in the arm and hand, and possibly in the breast, underarm, chest, trunk, or back. BCRL affects at least 20% of women undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Pilot study:  A small scale preparatory study that assesses feasibility, cost, and effect size. Pilot studies are important for good study design and useful for improving related future studies.

Range of Motion (ROM): Full movement potential of a joint.

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