Despite the research on structural and functional changes that may occur in breast cancer survivors, no study has investigated the relationship between spinal characteristics and the respiratory system. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the relationship between spinal posture and mobility to respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary functions in breast cancer patients who have completed their treatment
This cross-sectional study included 38 female breast cancer surgery survivors. Participants underwent the following evaluations: Chest wall mobility with a tapeline; postural assessments (spinal curvature, spinal mobility, and spinal inclination) with a non-invasive, computer-assisted electromechanical device; and pulmonary function test and respiratory muscle strength with a portable digital spirometer device. The relationship between spinal posture and mobility to respiratory muscle strength and pulmonary functions was analyzed by the bivariate correlation analysis.
Increased thoracic curvature angle was associated with decreased FEV1 (r=−0.360, p=0.026) and decreased subcostal mobility (r=−0.385, p=0.017), and the increase in thoracic frontal mobility was associated with decrease in PEF (r=−0.342, p=0.036). Increased lumbar mobility was associated with increased FVC (r=0.324, p=0.047), and increased total spinal inclination mobility was associated with decreased MIP (r=−0.396, p=0.017). Chest wall mobility was associated with postural assessments at varying rates (the r value ranged from −0.357 to 0.661, p<0.05).
The changes in spinal posture and mobility of women who have undergone unilateral breast cancer surgery were associated with respiratory parameters and thoracic cage mobility. These patients’ spinal posture and mobility should be taken into account in conjunction with respiratory functions for a comprehensive assessment.