pISSN 2005-9159
eISSN 2093-0569

Experimental Research Article

Korean J Pain 2022; 35(3): 280-290

Published online July 1, 2022 https://doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2022.35.3.280

Copyright © The Korean Pain Society.

The effects of complex decongestive therapy on pain and functionality in individuals with breast cancer who developed adhesive capsulitis due to lymphedema: an evaluation by an isokinetic computerized system

Konca Kaya Tatar1 and Begumhan Turhan2

1Department of Therapy and Rehabilitation, Vocational School of Health Services, Baskent University, Adana, Turkey
2Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Hasan Kalyoncu University, Gaziantep, Turkey

Correspondence to:Begumhan Turhan
Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Facuty of Health Sciences, Hasan Kalyoncu University, Gaziantep 27000, Turkey
Tel: +905063810459
Fax: +90 (342) 211 80 81
E-mail: begum.aliosmanoglu@hku.edu.tr

Handling Editor: Rohit Aiyer

Author contributions: Konca Kaya Tatar: Investigation; Begumhan Turhan: Writing/manuscript preparation.

Received: February 7, 2022; Revised: March 19, 2022; Accepted: April 25, 2022

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: This study aimed to determine the impact of complex decongestive therapy applications on upper extremity function in breast cancer patients who developed adhesive capsulitis after lymphedema.
Methods: Thirty patients who developed adhesive capsulitis due to lymphedema were divided into two groups as study (n = 15) and control (n = 15) groups. Both groups received 20 minutes of exercise five days a week for three weeks using a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer, as well as a hot pack and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) treatment to the shoulder joint. The study group received 45 minutes of intensive decongestive therapy along with the adhesive capsulitis treatment. The visual analogue scale was used to assess pain, circumference, and volumetric measurements were used to assess edema, and the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Problems Questionnaire (DASH: Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand) was used to assess upper extremity functionality. The shoulder range of motion was evaluated.
Results: Both groups had improvements in pain (P < 0.001), shoulder joint range of motion (P < 0.001), and upper extremity functionality (P < 0.001) after the treatment. There was a significant decrease in circumference and volumetric measurements in the study group (P < 0.001). However, no differences were seen in measurements in the control group.
Conclusions: The results showed that complex decongestive therapy was beneficial in reducing lymphedema in breast cancer patients who acquired adhesive capsulitis due to lymphedema. Consequently, the authors believe that supplementing conventional physiotherapy with complex decongestive therapy will benefit patients.

Keywords: Breast Neoplasms, Bursitis, Decongestive Therapy, Lymphedema, Pain, Physical Therapy Modalities, Shoulder Joint, Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation, Upper Extremity.