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Head Neck. 2016 Feb;38(2):301-8. doi: 10.1002/hed.23899. Epub 2015 Jun 16.

Retrospective study of the physical therapy modalities applied in head and neck l ymphedema treatment.

Author information

1
Physical Therapy Department, Brazilian Institute of Cancer Control (IBCC), São Paulo, Brazil.
2
Physical Therapy Department, Sao Camilo University Centre, São Paulo, Brazil.
3
Physical Therapy Department, Paulista University (UNIP), São Paulo, Brazil.
4
Nursing Department, Brazilian Institute of Cancer Control (IBCC), São Paulo, Brazil.
5
Medicine Department, Brazilian Institute of Cancer Control (IBCC), São Paulo, Brazil.
6
Physical Therapy Department, Faculty of Health Science (FACIS), São Paulo, Brazil.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Secondary lymphedema after head and neck cancer treatment is a serious complication and its management can be a challenge. The purpose of this study was to verify which physical therapy modalities were applied in the treatment of head and neck lymphedema through a retrospective analysis.

METHODS:

A retrospective study was developed, based on the analysis of medical records of 32 patients treated in the physiotherapy outpatient department of the Brazilian Institute of Cancer Control (IBCC).

RESULTS:

The physiotherapy included manual lymphatic drainage, massage, exercises, patient education, and compression therapy with an average of 23.9 ± 14.8 sessions. Measurement results showed a significant reduction of face and neck lymphedema (p < .05) and pain (from 7.8 ± 2.2 to 3.6 ± 1.6; p < .001).

CONCLUSION:

The physical therapy modalities based on strategic manual lymphatic drainage, shoulder girdle massage, facial, tongue and neck exercises, compressive therapy at home, and patient education showed reduction of the lymphedema and pain, both of them secondary to head and neck cancer treatment.

KEYWORDS:

head and neck neoplasms; lymphedema; neck dissection; pain; physical therapy modalities

PMID:
25332118
DOI:
10.1002/hed.23899
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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