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Open Access Research

Orthosis reduces breast pain and mechanical forces through natural and augmented breast tissue in women lying prone

Karin Ried1*, Simon Armstrong1, Avni Sali1 and Patrick McLaughlin2

Author Affiliations

1 National Institute of Integrative Medicine, Melbourne VIC 3122, Australia

2 College of Health and Biomedicine, Victoria University, Melbourne VIC 3001, Australia

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Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2014, 22:2  doi:10.1186/2045-709X-22-2

Published: 13 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Breast implant displacement or rupture can cause aesthetic problems and serious medical complications. Activities with prone positioning and loading of the anterior chest wall, such as massage, chiropractic or osteopathic therapies may increase the risk of implant failure and can also cause discomfort in women with natural breast tissue. Here we test the effectiveness of a newly developed orthosis on pain, mechanical pressure and displacement of breast tissue in women with cosmetic augmentation, post-mastectomy reconstruction, lactating or natural breast tissue.

Methods

Thirty-two females volunteers, aged 25–56 years with augmented, reconstructed, natural or lactating breast tissue and cup sizes B-F, participated in this open-label clinical trial. We measured pain perception, peak pressure, maximum force, and breast tissue displacement using different sizes of the orthosis compared to no orthosis. Different densities of the orthosis were also tested in a subgroup of women (n = 7). Pain perception was rated using a validated 11-point visual-analogue scale. Peak pressure and maximum force were assessed using a bilateral set of capacitance-pliance® sensor strips whilst participants were load bearing in a prone position, and breast displacement was measured by magnetic-resonance-imaging.

Results

The orthosis significantly reduced pain, breast displacement and mechanical pressures in women with natural and augmented breast tissue in prone position. Greater relief of pain and greater reduction in mechanical forces were found with increased size and density of the orthosis. Use of the orthosis improved overall comfort by 64-100%, lowered peak pressure by up to 85% and maximum force by up to 96%. Medio-lateral displacement of breast tissue was reduced by 16%, resulting in a 51% desirable increase of breast tissue height.

Conclusion

Our study demonstrated that the newly developed orthosis significantly reduced pain, mechanical pressure and breast tissue displacement in women with augmented and natural breast tissue when lying prone. Our findings are of clinical significance, potentially reducing the risk of complication from prone activities in women with breast augmentation or reconstruction, as well as improving comfort whilst undergoing prone procedures.

Trial registration

Australia and New Zealand Clinical Trials Register, ACTRN12613000541707.

Keywords:
Breast implant; Breast augmentation; Breast reconstruction; Implant rupture; Lactation; Orthosis; Pain; Mechanical forces; Pressure; Displacement