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Physical Therapy and Cancer Recovery

May 2, 2019

Physical therapy can improve your overall health while recovering from cancer. It offers important benefits for patients who experience difficulties that result from cancer-related treatments. Additionally, it helps to ease the emotional turmoil caused by the inevitable waves of fear and frustration. Engaging in supervised exercise promotes healing through increased blood flow, while simultaneously improving muscle tone and encouraging emotional wellbeing.

Oncology Treatments Can Be Physically Taxing

Most medical treatments for battling cancer include prescription medications, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. These treatments can have an adverse effect on the physical abilities of the patient, who may be experiencing pain and fatigue while also having difficulty with muscle movement. Daily tasks such as cooking, doing laundry, house cleaning, and maintaining personal hygiene are more difficult when your muscles are weak or swollen.

Physical Activity Can Ease the Burden

Physical activity can improve a patient’s quality of life. Oncology treatments can leave the body feeling weak and depleted. Oncology physical therapy offers several benefits to patients that experience dizziness or have difficulties walking and lifting bags of groceries. Incorporating a trained physical therapist during this time can ease the burden of cancer treatment methods by reducing problems caused by muscle weakness and atrophy.

Cancer Rehabilitation

Many medical treatments for cancer are designed to treat aggressively, which can have unfortunate side effects that include pain and swelling in the surrounding muscles. The pressure from this swelling limits muscle movement, causing frustration when the pain affects and limits mobility.

Rehab for Cancer Patients

A patient’s emotional health can impact cancer treatment processes. Stress can cause physical manifestations, such as excess stomach acid or nausea. Physical therapy offers a proactive diversion, as well as relaxation techniques that can help shift the patient’s focus away from the associated emotional stress. It’s important to address and try to alleviate feelings of overwhelm and frustration.

Physical Therapy and Cancer Rehabilitation

Because each patient has unique problems and limitations, physical therapy can be included in the treatment plan. Physical therapy helps the patient to focus on stamina and physical strength. Improving physical condition gives you a significant advantage when dealing with some of the complications of treatment. With stronger muscle tone and better physical conditioning, you can avoid potential problems with mobility. Physical therapy increases physical strength, which protects independence.

When undergoing cancer treatments, physical therapy can be used to provide a full range of services that benefit mental, physical, and emotional health. Physical therapy can be used to focus on building muscle and stamina while increasing mobility and range of motion. Additionally, massage techniques can be used to increase blood flow to the inflamed areas, allowing them to heal more quickly. Your oncologist can set you up with an appropriate cancer rehabilitation center to help you lessen the rigor of aggressive treatment methods.

Support Network for Cancer Rehabilitation

Emotional health can be enhanced with a support network. You can control feelings of loneliness with a support network of friends and relatives who can offer help and compassionate conversations for sharing personal problems or concerns. Avoiding feelings of loneliness and alienation is important when going through such a difficult time. Being as physically active as possible will help brighten your mood during this trying process.

Treatment Decisions

Decisions about cancer treatments are typically made by a team of medical professionals along with the patient. With a cancer diagnosis, it’s important that you, as the patient, understand what you are facing, what your treatment options are, and how cancer and treatment will likely affect you.

At Horizon Oncology & Research Center, we are committed to treating the whole patient, not just the disease.

Contact us to learn more about your cancer treatment options