Yoga for Shoulder and Spinal Movement in Women with Breast Cancer

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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By |2017-11-03T07:35:37-04:00October 24th, 2017|Conditions, Yoga Methods|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jenn Pilotti has a BS in exercise physiology from UC Davis. After graduating in 2002, she was hired by the Beach and Tennis Club at Pebble Beach as a full time personal trainer. While there, she had the privilege of working with individuals of all ages, many of whom had aches and pains from a life well led. This piqued her interest in injuries, prevention, and pain. After years of undirected self study (and after leaving the security of a full time position to go out on her own), she enrolled in an online program through AT Still University, eventually acquiring a master's in human movement while working full time. After graduating, she continued to read research and write about its application to her work with clients. She fell in love with yoga in 2004, finally became 200 hour RYT in 2014 after years of workshops and self study (there seems to a theme), and continues to study somatic disciplines. She is DNS exercise trainer certified, FRCms, MovNat level I certified, GMB trainer certified, has taken PRI respiration, myokinematics, impingement and instability, and pelvis restoration, and has read an embarrassing number of books on movement, psychology, and wellness. She has an insatiable curiosity about what makes for a healthy person, physically and mentally, and she finds herself often asking why things work for some and not for others. She strongly believes in the power of knowledge and the power of movement. Learn more about Jenn Pilotti.