According to numerous studies, it has been established that physical therapy has the ability to counteract many of the effects that are common with the treatments given to patients with breast cancer. These treatments include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. By engaging in physical therapy after having radiation treatments and physical therapy, there is a focus on increasing the overall strength, optimizing the patient’s endurance level, and improving balance. It is often these aspects of the body that are compromised after receiving treatments for breast cancer.
There are many therapeutic exercises that a physical therapist may prescribe in order to work towards restoring the strength and flexibility that is compromised after treatment. These exercises will actually stretch and increase the strength of the muscles that are located within the chest, the shoulders, the arms, and the back. As a result, stiffness is prevented and pain is reduced. Furthermore, many of the exercises will optimize flexibility. When flexibility is improved, the posture is also improved. This, in turn, aids in the management of any and all pain caused by the breast cancer and the treatment for the cancer of the breasts.
The following outlines a few physical therapy steps that may be taken to overcome the effects of breast cancer treatment:
- First, the PT may have you use the side of your body that is most affected by the treatments. Simple arm raises and other exercises may be performed; however, in most instances, they will encourage you to perform daily tasks such as brushing your hair and eating with this side of the body.
- Next, the affected arm may be raised above the heart for several minutes, several times a day. Not only does this optimize movement, but, it also aids in eliminating any type of swelling that has occurred as a result of the breast cancer treatment.
- Stretching is the most common types of exercises. This aids in optimizing movements, improving flexibility, and increasing strength.
In this guide, you have been briefly introduced to several different ways that physical therapists may help in alleviating pain, swelling, and other effects that are commonly experienced with breast cancer treatments. This is only a very small list of the advantages of physical therapy. If you have an interest in improving your health after breast cancer treatments, you should consider making an appointment with a physical therapist. These medical professionals may assist you in many ways. For more information, give us a call here at Back to Motion Physical Therapy today by calling the following number: 303-832-5577