In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of Pilates compared with circuit-based exercise in reducing joint pain during hormone therapy for women with breast cancer. The data showed that Pilates was more effective than circuit-based exercise in reducing joint pain for these patients.
Many of the patients with breast cancer (BC) have a type of tumor that grows in response to female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Patients with this subtype of BC commonly receive hormonal treatment (HT). HT acts by decreasing these hormones. In 40-50% of the cases, HT is associated with joint pain. Long-term joint pain can negatively affect patients' quality of life.
Pilates has been recommended for women with BC. Pilates is very light resistance training that strengthens the muscles and the bones. Circuit-based training is a style of workout involving several exercises (usually 5 to 10) targeting different muscle groups with minimal rest in between. Circuit-based exercise has been found to improve physical performance for women with BC, making it a possible treatment option for joint pain. However, there are no studies comparing the effects of Pilates with circuit-based training for treating women with joint pain.
Methods & findings
This study involved 60 women with joint pain during HT for BC. They were randomly assigned into 3 groups. Group 1 included 20 women who received Pilates. Group 2 included 20 women in the circuit-based exercise group. Group 3 included 20 women in the control group who maintained their usual daily activities. The exercises were performed for 75 minutes over a period of 8 weeks.
The Pilates group showed a significant reduction in joint pain compared to the circuit-based group. There were no significant differences in function, sleep quality, or flexibility among the 3 groups.
The bottom line
This study concluded that Pilates was more effective than circuit-based exercise in reducing joint pain in women during hormone therapy for breast cancer.
The fine print
The sample size was small. Patients were not followed up for a long period of time. The study was conducted at a single institution and involved only Brazilian women.
Published By :
Supportive care in cancer: official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Mar 31, 2021
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