Breast Cancer Rehabilitation
Breast cancer and its treatments, including surgery (lumpectomy, mastectomy, and reconstruction), chemotherapy, radiation, and hormonal therapy, are associated with a wide range of physical and emotional side effects.
Many of these symptoms may be long-lasting and can have a significant impact on your quality of life, function, and well-being.
The Back to Health Approach
Back To Health’s goal is to not only help heal the body through targeted and skilled therapy techniques, but we also want to help the patients in a warm, caring environment which allows the patient to relax and not feel like they are at yet another medical appointment.
We have a private ‘Tranquility Treatment Room,’ which helps the patients relax and receive the best possible care in a conducive environment for physical and emotional healing. Our private treatment room offers personalized music, a heated table, natural plants, specific positioning equipment for breast cancer patients, a height adjustable treatment table, and soothing topicals for scar massage, pain, swelling reduction and overall healing. The tranquility room is a closed-door room—including a mat table where our patients can do their therapeutic exercises in private.
Additionally, Back to Health can provide breast cancer rehab in the comfort of your home. Many patients find it difficult to get out of the house postoperatively and are not able to drive for a few weeks if not longer. Our highly skilled therapists will bring the clinic to you.
How Breast Cancer Rehabilitation can help
Physical therapy has been proven to play a vital role in the recovery from breast cancer.
Breast cancer patients may experience some of the following symptoms during their course of breast cancer treatment:
- Decreased shoulder and arm movement
- Scar tissue restrictions
- Axillary web syndrome (cording)
- Swelling, seroma and lymphedema
- Postural dysfunctions
- Radiation Fibrosis Syndrome
- Post Mastectomy Pain Syndrome
- Cancer-related fatigue
- Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy
- Brain Fog
- Joint stiffness
- Weight gain
- Pelvic floor dysfunctions
- Chest tightness
A physical therapist specialized in breast cancer rehab can help you to overcome any of these side effects so that you can maximize your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, both during and after cancer treatments.
When is the best time to start breast cancer rehab?
We cannot stress just how important it is for you to advocate for yourself so that you receive the care needed to live well beyond breast cancer.
Before Cancer Treatments
A breast cancer rehab therapist can help you prepare both physically and mentally for your upcoming cancer treatments so that you can optimize your healing and recovery.
During your initial appointment with your therapist, a comprehensive movement and posture assessment will be performed to establish your baseline range of motion, flexibility, strength, and arm circumferential measurements.
This would be an optimal time to educate you on post-operative movement restrictions. Additionally, you would receive a customized home exercise program that may begin the day after surgery. The home exercise program will help to facilitate lymphatic regeneration and reduce the risk of complications that can prolong the healing process, such as seroma formation, axillary web syndrome and lymphedema, while ensuring shoulder joint mobility.
During & After Cancer Treatments
Post-operatively and throughout your cancer treatment, your therapist will continuously reevaluate objective measurements and begin to address any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Treatments would include but not be limited to:
- Soft-tissue mobilization
- Myofascial release techniques
- Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises
- State-of-the-art low light laser therapy (LLLT)
- Hands on techniques to reduce pain
- Scar massage education
- Customized home exercise program
What makes Breast Cancer Rehabilitation different from traditional physical therapy?
All physical and occupational therapists are trained to restore range of motion, flexibility, strength and to reduce pain.
However, most therapists do not have a thorough understanding of breast cancer treatments and thus the array of potential physical side-effects that you may experience.
Our therapists are specifically trained to help you effectively manage and overcome any of your breast cancer-related side effects and challenges, while taking the necessary precautions to ensure your safety as you heal and recover.
Why Back to Health Physical Therapy?
Back to Health’s approach is to not only heal physical pain but to also enable our patients to heal emotionally as well. We want our patients to feel like they are being taken care of in a gentle and compassionate environment. Our therapists will make sure that you are comfortable, warm, relaxed, and feel “like a person” not a patient.
For more information, Contact us at River Edge, NJ center.