Oncology rehab focuses on restoring the strength, endurance, and coordination of individuals who are recovering from cancer. This type of therapy can be provided before or after surgery to enhance skills and improve an individual’s ability to perform daily activities.
Our Primary Focus
While there are many types, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis and is the focus of our oncology rehab services. Generally speaking, cancer can cause some of the following symptoms:
- Skin changes, such as new or modified lumps, moles, or sores
- Persistent fatigue with no known cause
- New difficulty with basic tasks such as dressing or cleaning
- Shortness of breath and low energy after walking short distances
Cancer affects 439 out of every 100,000 individuals in the United States. Although the cancer rate is expected to increase in the next 5 years, the survival rate is also predicted to rise from 15.5 million in 2016 to 20.3 million individuals by 2026. With these encouraging new statistics, more survivors will need oncology rehab to regain their strength, restore their abilities, and manage negative effects that may result from treatments such as surgery or radiation.
Oncology and Lymphedema
Breast cancer survivors may experience a condition called lymphedema, where damaged or removed lymph nodes lead to fluid buildup that causes arms or legs to swell. An additional complication of cancer treatment is axillary web syndrome, or cording. This diagnosis causes thick and rope-like scar tissue to form where lymph nodes were removed. Both lymphedema and cording can result in pain, limited movement, stiff muscles, and skin changes.
How We Provide Rehabilitation
Oncology rehab can assist with many effects of cancer and includes some of the following treatments:
- Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD), a specific manual technique that gives the body a “head start” in redistributing and circulating lymphatic fluid buildup on its own
- Scar tissue massage to smooth out rope-like adhesions under the skin while relieving pain and improving motion
- Exercises, which assist in building strength, draining fluid, breaking up scar tissue, increasing endurance, and improving overall participation in daily activities. Therapists often provide stretches and exercises for completion at home to further improve pain relief and increase motion.
- Compression bandages, also known as wrapping, to push fluid buildup from the farthest part of the arm or leg toward the center of the body
- Compression garments,which are specially-fitted clothing items worn while exercising to assist with improving circulation
Benefits Of Oncology Rehab
Individuals who survive cancer have a good chance of making a full recovery and returning to many of their daily activities. With the help of oncology rehab at Healers of Motion Physical Therapy, cancer survivors can build strength, relearn certain skills, and gain the endurance they need to live the life they want.
If you are looking to receive oncology rehab from highly-qualified physical therapy providers who can help you relieve pain, grow stronger, and restore your quality-of-life, contact Healers of Motion today for more information.