Physical Therapy For Breast Cancer Survivors
Did you know Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer for women? It is so prevalent, that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with it in the United States. October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which helps shed light on the prevalence of the disease and raise awareness. While treatment and prevention for the disease have advanced significantly, the battle will always be a long one. One aspect of breast cancer treatment seldom discussed, is breast cancer rehabilitation after surgical intervention.
Surgery is often the first line of defense against breast cancer. The three main types of surgery are lumpectomy, mastectomy and lymph node removal. While surgery is often a successful defense method, it does have symptoms associated with it that can affect the lives of patients. Physical therapy plays a significant role in the post-surgical treatment of breast cancer survivors.
After surgery, scar tissue will develop at the site of the incision/s and for some patients, can restrict mobility. With scar tissue mobilization, physical therapists utilize specialized techniques to remodel scar tissue such as stretching, manual therapies, massage and myofascial release.
Another symptom patients face post-surgery, is loss of strength of the shoulder and chest. Physical therapists work with patients often soon after surgery, to begin with exercises that help regain mobility and strength in the shoulder and the arm.
Frozen shoulder is a condition that affects your shoulder joint, and is commonly experienced by women post-mastectomy. Symptoms of frozen shoulder include pain and stiffness of the shoulder that make it very hard to move, as well as pain in the upper arm. Some patients experience difficulty moving and sleeping due to these symptoms. Physical therapists work with patients to develop specialized exercise regimens that target the direct and surrounding areas of the shoulder joint. Stretching, exercises and manual therapies have shown to be extremely effective in the treatment of Frozen Shoulder.
At Sarrica Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, we are experienced in treating breast cancer survivors after surgery using a combination of physical therapy, manual therapy, acupuncture and massage. While the road to recovery is a long one, we are committed to helping our patients live full functioning, pain free lives.