Effectiveness of Yoga Interventions in Breast Cancer-Related lymphedema: A systematic review

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2019 Aug:36:49-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.05.004. Epub 2019 May 25.


Objectives: To synthesize recent empirical evidence on yoga-based interventions for patients with breast cancer-related lymphedema.

Methods: We searched the PubMed/MEDLINE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and EMBASE databases for studies published between October 2007 and September 2018 in any language. Risk of bias and methodological quality were evaluated using the PRISMA statement and checklist and the Cochrane Collaboration tool.

Results: There was significant improvement in lymphedema status, range of shoulder motion and spinal mobility after an 8-week yoga intervention, whereas there was no consistency in quality of life following yoga intervention. Additionally, there was no difference in lymphedema status, extracellular fluid and tissue resistance outcomes in the affected arm following a long-term yoga practice.

Conclusion: The current findings could not be clearly demonstrated that yoga programme intervention as an addition to usual care is superior to along usual care, and keep yoga exercise does not provide significant added benefits.

Keywords: Breast cancer-related lymphedema; Intervention; Quality of life; Symptoms; Yoga.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Cancer Lymphedema / physiopathology
  • Breast Cancer Lymphedema / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Shoulder / physiopathology
  • Yoga*