Is it safe and efficacious for women with lymphedema secondary to breast cancer to lift heavy weights during exercise: A randomised controlled trial

Prue Cormie, Kate PUMPA, Daniel A. Galvão, Nigel Spry, Christobel Saunders, Yvonne Zissiadis, Robert U. Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose Resistance exercise has great potential to aid in the management of breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL); however, little is known regarding optimal exercise prescription. The pervasive view is that resistance exercise with heavy loads may be contraindicated, disregarding the dose–response relationship that exists between the load utilised in resistance exercise and the magnitude of structural and functional improvements. No previous research has examined various resistance exercise prescriptions for the management of BCRL. This study compared the effects of high load and low load resistance exercise on the extent of swelling, severity of symptoms, physical function and quality of life in women with BCRL. Methods Sixty-two women with a clinical diagnosis of BCRL (>5 % inter-limb discrepancy) were randomly assigned to a high-load resistance exercise (n = 22), low-load resistance exercise (n = 21) or usual care (n = 19) group. Participants in the experimental groups completed a 3-month moderate- to high-intensity resistance exercise program in which the load of the exercises was manipulated from 10–6 repetition maximum (75–85 % of one repetition maximum [1RM]) for the high-load group or from 20–15 repetition maximum (55–65 % 1RM) for the low-load group. Outcome measures included the extent of swelling in the affected arm, symptom severity, physical function and quality of life. Results There were no differences between groups in the extent of affected arm swelling or severity of symptoms. The change in muscle strength, muscle endurance and quality of life–physical functioning was significantly greater in both high-load and low-load groups compared with the control group (p < 0.040). Change in quality of life–physical function was significantly associated with the change in symptom severity and muscle strength. No lymphedema exacerbations or other adverse events occurred during this trial. Conclusion Women with BCRL can safely lift heavy weights during upper body resistance exercise without fear of lymphedema exacerbation or increased symptom severity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-424
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cancer Survivorship
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Lymphedema
Randomized Controlled Trials
Exercise
Breast Neoplasms
Weights and Measures
Muscle Strength
Prescriptions
Arm
Quality of Life
Fear
Extremities
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Breast Cancer Lymphedema

Cite this

Cormie, Prue ; PUMPA, Kate ; Galvão, Daniel A. ; Spry, Nigel ; Saunders, Christobel ; Zissiadis, Yvonne ; Newton, Robert U. / Is it safe and efficacious for women with lymphedema secondary to breast cancer to lift heavy weights during exercise: A randomised controlled trial. In: Journal of Cancer Survivorship. 2013 ; Vol. 7, No. 3. pp. 413-424.
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title = "Is it safe and efficacious for women with lymphedema secondary to breast cancer to lift heavy weights during exercise: A randomised controlled trial",
abstract = "Purpose Resistance exercise has great potential to aid in the management of breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL); however, little is known regarding optimal exercise prescription. The pervasive view is that resistance exercise with heavy loads may be contraindicated, disregarding the dose–response relationship that exists between the load utilised in resistance exercise and the magnitude of structural and functional improvements. No previous research has examined various resistance exercise prescriptions for the management of BCRL. This study compared the effects of high load and low load resistance exercise on the extent of swelling, severity of symptoms, physical function and quality of life in women with BCRL. Methods Sixty-two women with a clinical diagnosis of BCRL (>5 {\%} inter-limb discrepancy) were randomly assigned to a high-load resistance exercise (n = 22), low-load resistance exercise (n = 21) or usual care (n = 19) group. Participants in the experimental groups completed a 3-month moderate- to high-intensity resistance exercise program in which the load of the exercises was manipulated from 10–6 repetition maximum (75–85 {\%} of one repetition maximum [1RM]) for the high-load group or from 20–15 repetition maximum (55–65 {\%} 1RM) for the low-load group. Outcome measures included the extent of swelling in the affected arm, symptom severity, physical function and quality of life. Results There were no differences between groups in the extent of affected arm swelling or severity of symptoms. The change in muscle strength, muscle endurance and quality of life–physical functioning was significantly greater in both high-load and low-load groups compared with the control group (p < 0.040). Change in quality of life–physical function was significantly associated with the change in symptom severity and muscle strength. No lymphedema exacerbations or other adverse events occurred during this trial. Conclusion Women with BCRL can safely lift heavy weights during upper body resistance exercise without fear of lymphedema exacerbation or increased symptom severity",
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Is it safe and efficacious for women with lymphedema secondary to breast cancer to lift heavy weights during exercise: A randomised controlled trial. / Cormie, Prue; PUMPA, Kate; Galvão, Daniel A.; Spry, Nigel; Saunders, Christobel; Zissiadis, Yvonne; Newton, Robert U.

In: Journal of Cancer Survivorship, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2013, p. 413-424.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Is it safe and efficacious for women with lymphedema secondary to breast cancer to lift heavy weights during exercise: A randomised controlled trial

AU - Cormie, Prue

AU - PUMPA, Kate

AU - Galvão, Daniel A.

AU - Spry, Nigel

AU - Saunders, Christobel

AU - Zissiadis, Yvonne

AU - Newton, Robert U.

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - Purpose Resistance exercise has great potential to aid in the management of breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL); however, little is known regarding optimal exercise prescription. The pervasive view is that resistance exercise with heavy loads may be contraindicated, disregarding the dose–response relationship that exists between the load utilised in resistance exercise and the magnitude of structural and functional improvements. No previous research has examined various resistance exercise prescriptions for the management of BCRL. This study compared the effects of high load and low load resistance exercise on the extent of swelling, severity of symptoms, physical function and quality of life in women with BCRL. Methods Sixty-two women with a clinical diagnosis of BCRL (>5 % inter-limb discrepancy) were randomly assigned to a high-load resistance exercise (n = 22), low-load resistance exercise (n = 21) or usual care (n = 19) group. Participants in the experimental groups completed a 3-month moderate- to high-intensity resistance exercise program in which the load of the exercises was manipulated from 10–6 repetition maximum (75–85 % of one repetition maximum [1RM]) for the high-load group or from 20–15 repetition maximum (55–65 % 1RM) for the low-load group. Outcome measures included the extent of swelling in the affected arm, symptom severity, physical function and quality of life. Results There were no differences between groups in the extent of affected arm swelling or severity of symptoms. The change in muscle strength, muscle endurance and quality of life–physical functioning was significantly greater in both high-load and low-load groups compared with the control group (p < 0.040). Change in quality of life–physical function was significantly associated with the change in symptom severity and muscle strength. No lymphedema exacerbations or other adverse events occurred during this trial. Conclusion Women with BCRL can safely lift heavy weights during upper body resistance exercise without fear of lymphedema exacerbation or increased symptom severity

AB - Purpose Resistance exercise has great potential to aid in the management of breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL); however, little is known regarding optimal exercise prescription. The pervasive view is that resistance exercise with heavy loads may be contraindicated, disregarding the dose–response relationship that exists between the load utilised in resistance exercise and the magnitude of structural and functional improvements. No previous research has examined various resistance exercise prescriptions for the management of BCRL. This study compared the effects of high load and low load resistance exercise on the extent of swelling, severity of symptoms, physical function and quality of life in women with BCRL. Methods Sixty-two women with a clinical diagnosis of BCRL (>5 % inter-limb discrepancy) were randomly assigned to a high-load resistance exercise (n = 22), low-load resistance exercise (n = 21) or usual care (n = 19) group. Participants in the experimental groups completed a 3-month moderate- to high-intensity resistance exercise program in which the load of the exercises was manipulated from 10–6 repetition maximum (75–85 % of one repetition maximum [1RM]) for the high-load group or from 20–15 repetition maximum (55–65 % 1RM) for the low-load group. Outcome measures included the extent of swelling in the affected arm, symptom severity, physical function and quality of life. Results There were no differences between groups in the extent of affected arm swelling or severity of symptoms. The change in muscle strength, muscle endurance and quality of life–physical functioning was significantly greater in both high-load and low-load groups compared with the control group (p < 0.040). Change in quality of life–physical function was significantly associated with the change in symptom severity and muscle strength. No lymphedema exacerbations or other adverse events occurred during this trial. Conclusion Women with BCRL can safely lift heavy weights during upper body resistance exercise without fear of lymphedema exacerbation or increased symptom severity

KW - Breast cancer

KW - Dose-response relationship

KW - Lymphedema

KW - Resistance exercise

KW - Weight-lifting

U2 - 10.1007/s11764-013-0284-8

DO - 10.1007/s11764-013-0284-8

M3 - Article

VL - 7

SP - 413

EP - 424

JO - Journal of Cancer Survivorship

JF - Journal of Cancer Survivorship

SN - 1932-2259

IS - 3

ER -