Women’s Health Conditions

Breast Cancer Related Dysfunction

Physical therapy can play a valuable role in the management and recovery of breast cancer. While physical therapy does not treat breast cancer directly, it focuses on addressing the physical and functional issues that can arise as a result of the disease and its treatments. Here are some ways in which physical therapy can be beneficial:

  1. Rehabilitation after surgery: Physical therapy can help individuals recover after surgery and/or radiation. The therapist can provide exercises to restore range of motion, strength, and flexibility in the affected arm and shoulder. They can include manual therapy techniques such as scar tissue mobilization, myofascial release, joint mobilization, and lymphatic drainage techniques.
  2. Lymphedema management: Lymphedema is a common side effect of breast cancer treatment, particularly after lymph node removal or radiation therapy. Physical therapists trained in lymphedema management can provide manual lymphatic drainage, compression techniques, exercise programs, and education on self-care to help reduce swelling and improve overall lymphatic function.
  3. Pain management: Breast cancer and its treatments can cause pain in the chest, shoulder, neck, and back. Physical therapists can use various techniques such as manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, and modalities like heat or cold therapy to help manage pain and improve overall function.
  4. Postural and musculoskeletal issues: Changes in posture, muscle imbalances, and altered biomechanics may occur following breast cancer treatment. Physical therapists can assess and address these issues through exercises, postural training, and ergonomic modifications to improve posture, reduce pain, and enhance functional abilities.
  5. Fatigue management: Fatigue is a common symptom during and after breast cancer treatment. Physical therapists can develop individualized exercise programs that focus on gradually increasing endurance and energy levels, helping individuals manage fatigue and improve overall quality of life.
  6. Bone health and osteoporosis prevention: Certain breast cancer treatments can lead to bone loss and increase the risk of osteoporosis. Physical therapists can provide exercises and education on weight-bearing activities, strength training, and fall prevention strategies to promote bone health and reduce the risk of fractures.

Apex Physical Therapy & Wellness Center is here to help

Our skilled team of women’s healthy physical therapists will perform a thorough evaluation to identify areas of impairment that are contributing to your symptoms. Following the exam, your physical therapist will work with you to create a plan of care that best suits your personal goals and needs.

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