October 16, 2018
Physiotherapy is impactful in treating persistent arm pain after breast cancer

A recent study published in Clinical Rehabilitation shows that myofascial therapy is an effective physical therapy modality to decrease pain intensity at the arm in breast cancer survivors at three months. No other benefits at that time were found. There were no long-term effects at 12 months either.

50 patients with persistent arm pain and myofascial dysfunctions after breast cancer treatment were included in the study. Over the three month study, all patients received standardized physiotherapy treatments with the intervention group receiving additional 12 sessions of myofascial therapy and the control group receiving 12 sessions of placebo therapy.

Patients in the intervention group had a significantly greater decrease in pain intensity compared to the control group with a mean difference in change after three months between groups of 20/100. After the intervention, 44% versus 64% of patients still experienced pain in the intervention and control group, respectively. No significant differences were found for the other outcomes.


First Published September 15, 2017
Authors: An De Groef, Marijke Van Kampen, Nele Vervloesem,

Evi Dieltjens, Marie-Rose Christiaens, Patrick Neven, Lore Vos, Tessa De Vrieze, Inge Geraerts, Nele Devoogdt