Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jennifer Radziak, OTD, OTR/L, CHT


Importance: Reduced range of motion of the shoulder and chronic pain negatively affect the ability to complete daily activities and the mental and physical quality of life for women after breast cancer surgery. Objective: To assess the results over time of the Spurgeon MethodTM of breast massage after breast cancer surgery in improving shoulder range of motion and performance of activities of daily living. Design: Mixed methods pilot study performing the Spurgeon MethodTM protocol with participants once a week for six weeks. Setting and Participants: The setting was The Caring Place, a nonprofit program managed by the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation in Las Vegas, Nevada that provides counseling and wellness services to cancer survivors and patients. Participants were recruited from local oncologists and cancer centers in coordination with the non-profit organization. Intervention: The Spurgeon MethodTM of breast massage is a type of manual therapy that addresses lymphatic drainage, fascial restrictions, and muscles of the back, neck, shoulders, and chest. Outcomes and Measures: Shoulder abduction, flexion, and external rotation were measured before and after each session. The Quick DASH survey was used to assess changes in ability to complete daily activities comparing the level of perceived disability at the first session to that at the last session. Results: Participants demonstrated improved range of motion in all planes of motion. Quick DASH survey results improved, and participants reported reduced level of pain. Conclusions and Relevance: The Spurgeon MethodTM protocol can be used by occupational therapists to restore range of motion of the shoulder which increases the ability to complete activities of daily living with less pain and difficulty. What This Article Adds: This article provides the evidence to support the use of a step-by-step manual therapy protocol using targeted techniques to address restrictions commonly experienced by patients after breast cancer surgery.