What does physical therapy do for patients with breast cancer?

What does physical therapy do for patients with breast cancer?

June 14, 2023

Breast cancer treatment can often leave patients with a range of physical challenges, from pain and fatigue to limited mobility and strength. Physical therapy is a crucial part of the healing process for breast cancer patients, as it can help restore function and improve quality of life during and after treatment. In this article, we will explore the benefits of physical therapy for breast cancer patients and how it can improve their overall well-being.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Breast Cancer Patients

Physical therapy is a non-invasive approach to managing the physical side effects of cancer treatment. It can help alleviate pain, restore function, improve range of motion and strength, and prevent lymphedema – a common condition that causes swelling in the arms or legs after lymph node removal surgery.

Physical therapists work with patients to develop personalized exercise programs that address their individual needs and concerns. These programs may include gentle stretches, resistance training, and aerobic exercises that can be tailored to the patient’s fitness level.

Physical therapy can also help patients manage other symptoms of breast cancer treatment, such as fatigue, anxiety, and depression. By incorporating relaxation techniques and stress-reducing activities into their treatment plans, physical therapists can help patients feel more in control of their health and well-being.

How Physical Therapy Improves Quality of Life during Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer treatment can be physically and emotionally exhausting, and physical therapy can help patients manage the side effects of treatment and maintain their independence. By improving their physical function, patients can perform everyday activities with greater ease and comfort, such as getting dressed, bathing, and cooking.

Physical therapy can also help patients maintain a positive body image and self-esteem by addressing the physical changes that may occur during treatment. For example, gentle exercises and massage can help reduce pain and swelling in the chest and underarm areas, while scar management techniques can help minimize scarring and promote healing.

Overall, physical therapy plays a critical role in the care and management of breast cancer patients. By addressing the physical and emotional challenges of treatment, physical therapists can help patients maintain their quality of life and improve their overall well-being.

If you or a loved one is undergoing breast cancer treatment, talk to your healthcare provider about incorporating physical therapy into your care plan. With the guidance of a skilled physical therapist, you can improve your physical function, reduce pain and discomfort, and improve your overall quality of life.