Background & objectives : The surgery of breast cancer like any other surgeries may bring about some problems and complications, which the knowledge of these problems may be an effective way for prevention or dealing with the complications. The motor and sensory impairments in the upper limb of the surgery side necessitate the utilization of the rehabilitation methods. The main purpose of this research was to show the effect of Pilates exercise on range of motion and edema of upper limb in females suffering from breast cancer after going through surgery.
Methods: This quasi- experimental study was conducted on 25 patients randomly chosen among the patients referring to Cancer Institute. The designed exercise included five "Mat Pilates" moves which were done for 15 sessions until the patient reached fatigue borderlines. Meantime, the control group was doing routine active exercises in physiotherapy center. The range of motion and edema of upper limb was measured before and after applying the designed exercise. For describing the data, the mean and standard deviation, and for inferential analysis, the correlated T-tests and one way analysis of variance were used in level of significance of 5%, to compare the variants before and after applying the designed exercise.
Results: The results showed a significant difference between the flexion, extension, and internal, external rotation of shoulder, flexion and extension of elbow, flexion, extension, supination deviation and pronation deviation of the wrist and forearm before and after experiment in Pilates group. While in the control group, flexion, extension, internal and external rotation of shoulder, flexion and extension of elbow, and flexion of wrist showed a significant difference before and after the experiment.
Conclusion: The use of Pilates exercise after mastectomy surgery can increase the range of motion of the upper limb in the involved side of the patients, and decrease the edema, and improve the motion of the upper limb.