Cancer is scary enough without having to deal with all the side effects of the treatment as well as the disease. Physical therapy has been shown to help minimize those negative effects.
Surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can all cause fatigue, pain, weakness, and worsen cardiovascular function. Although the magnitude of these side effects varies from one person to the next, depending on the extent of treatment and what chemo drugs were needed, when these effects persist, they can cause chronic deconditioning that can lead to other functional loss. Physical Therapy can be very effective at helping people safely regain their strength and function during and after cancer treatment. A National Institute of Health showed that exercise was better than medications in treating cancer-related fatigue. Patients usually need guidance in determining the type and amount of exercise that’s appropriate, however, and physical therapists have the expertise to guide them.
Lymphedema is another condition that can result from lymph nodes being removed or irradiated as part of the staging and treatment of many cancers. This can be effectively treated utilizing a combination of a specialized type of massage known as manual lymph drainage and the right type of compression. This specialty program is available at certain clinics within Tidewater Physical Therapy.
Women (or yes, even men!) who have had surgery for breast cancer including any lymph nodes being removed can sometimes have difficulty regaining full shoulder motion and can develop tight cords within the arm pit that can extend down into the arm itself. This is known as cording, or axillary web syndrome. They can also develop tightness in the chest, ribs, and midback. These conditions can range from uncomfortable to sometimes quite painful, but they’re very treatable by a therapist who specializes in this type of therapy.
View our local Tidewater clinics that provide Cancer Rehabilitation.
Read Related Blogs: