Synergic Effect of Compression Therapy and Controlled Active Exercises Using a Facilitating Device in the Treatment of Arm Lymphedema
Maria de Fátima Guerreiro Godoy, Maria Regina Pereira, Antonio Helio Oliani, and Jose Maria Pereira de Godoy
A randomized controlled trial was performed to evaluate the effect of the combination of compression therapy with active exercising using a facilitating apparatus on arm lymphedema.
Twenty women with a mean age of 63.3 years were evaluated; all had arm lymphedema resulting from breast cancer treatment. The inclusion criterion was a difference of 200 mL in size between arms. The apparatus used, called 'pulley system', is a vertical iron wheel fixed on a support at a distance of 10 cm from the patient's body. Participants were submitted to two series of active exercises using this facilitating device, one series using a compression sleeve and the other without.
Each series consisted of four 12-minute sessions of exercises separated by 3-minute rest intervals. Volumetry was performed before and after each series of exercises. The paired t-test was utilized for statistical analysis (p-value < 0.05).
A significant mean reduction (p-value < 0.007) and non-significant mean increase (p-value < 0.2) in volumes were observed during exercising with and without compression, respectively.
Controlled active exercising utilizing a facilitating apparatus while wearing a compression sleeve reduces the size of lymphedematous arms.
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