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EFFICACY OF KINESIO TAPING IN EARLY STAGE BREAST CANCER ASSOCIATED LYMPHEDEMA: A RANDOMIZED SINGLE BLINDED STUDY

T. Ozsoy-Unubol, C. Sanal-Toprak, Y. Bahar-Ozdemir, G. Akyuz

Abstract


This study was designed to evaluate the
effectiveness of kinesio taping compared to
compression garment in treatment of early
stage breast cancer-associated lymphedema
(BCAL). Patients between 18-70-years old who
had unilateral stage 1 BCAL were randomized
into group I kinesio taping (KT) and group
II compression garment (CG) for this single
blinded study. KT was applied with a lymphatic
correction technique in three-four day intervals
for four weeks. At the end of the fourth week,
patients were suggested to wear CGs. Patients
in group II were treated daily for 23-hours in
CGs. Education, preventive measures, and exercises
were given to both groups. All patients
were evaluated before the treatment (T0), immediate
post treatment (T1), and three months
after treatment (T2). Circumference differences
were measured between the extremities with
a nonelastic tape at five levels. Additionally,
shoulder range of motion (ROM) was measured,
and pain, heaviness, and sensation of
tightness were evaluated with a visual analog
scale (VAS). Thirty-five patients with stage 1
BCAL were included and randomized to the
KT (n= 16) and CG (n= 19) groups. Demographic
data and baseline clinical characteristics
were similar. Both groups had reductions
in all levels of arm circumference differences
at immediate post-treatment and three months
after treatment. Pain, tightness, and heaviness
scores significantly decreased for both groups
at immediate post-treatment and third month.
Patients in the KT group had significantly
lower pain sores than patients in the CG group.
Results demonstrated that both modalities had
similar effects in the treatment of early stage
BCAL. For patients with early stage BCAL,
KT can be an alternative treatment to CG for
patients who have difficulties in obtaining and
wearing CGs.


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