Supplementary Material for: Nordic Walking and the Isa Method for Breast Cancer Survivors: Effects on Upper Limb Circumferences and Total Body Extracellular Water - a Pilot Study

Background: The negative side effects of breast cancer treatments can include upper limb lymphoedema. The growing literature indicates that Nordic walking is an effective discipline against several disease symptoms. The aim of this study was to determine whether introduction to Nordic walking alone is effective against total body extracellular water and upper limb circumferences in breast cancer survivors compared to its combination with a series of specifically created exercises (i.e. the Isa method). Methods: 16 breast cancer survivors (49.09 ± 2.24 years) were recruited and randomly assigned to 1 of 2 different training groups. Results: 10 lessons on Nordic walking technique plus the Isa method significantly reduced both extracellular body water and the extracellular-to-total body water ratio (p = 0.01 for both), and also the circumference of the upper limb, (both relaxed arm and forearm circumferences) (p = 0.01 for all), whereas Nordic walking alone did not. Conclusions: Introduction to Nordic walking does not seem to affect lymphoedema in breast cancer survivors. This might be because novice Nordic Walkers do not adequately generate an effective muscular pump through coordination of the alternated bimanual openclose cycle. The Isa method appears to close this gap.