Physical therapy is one of the most common treatment recommendations for a wide variety of health conditions, but one condition that it can’t really treat is cancer. However, that doesn’t mean that physical therapy has no place in a cancer recovery effort. While PT may not help push your cancer into remission, it can certainly help to treat some of the physical changes you’ve experienced as a result of your treatment. In today’s blog, we explain how physical therapy can be a perfect partner in your quest to regain function and independence following cancer treatment.
Physical Therapy After Cancer Remission
Cancer and effective cancer treatment can really do a number on your body and your whole body health, which is why it can be helpful to commit to a physical therapy routine once your cancer is in remission. Physical therapy can target a number of specific issues related to your cancer and the effects it’s had on your body. Here’s a look at some of the ways working with a physical therapist can help treat conditions that have developed as a result of your cancer treatment.
- Fatigue – Cancer-related fatigue is extremely common after a battle with cancer, but a physical therapist can help provide you with individualized aerobic training and strength training exercises to build up your lung capacity and overall endurance.
- Lymphedema – Damage to the lymphatic system during cancer treatment can lead to lymphedema, which involves the buildup of fluid in the soft tissue of the body. Your physical therapist can help with manual lymph drainage, range of motion exercises that promote fluid movement out of an area, and bandaging or taping to help prevent fluid pooling.
- Pain – While their cancer may be gone, the effects of treatment can mean that pain lingers once cancer is in remission. A physical therapist can help develop mobilization, strengthening and stretching techniques to help calm this discomfort and reduce pain frequency or perception.
- Urinary or Sexual Health Issues – Certain types of cancers, like prostate, ovarian or bladder cancer can lead to issues like incontinence or sexual dysfunction. Our physical therapists are trained in pelvic floor exercises and other techniques to improve urinary continence or sexual dysfunction issues.
- Balance or Coordination Issues – Sometimes the effects of cancer treatment can impact our balance or coordination, but those are two areas that we specialize in improving. We can help ensure that you are not at a heightened risk for a fall by targeting specific areas and working to improve stability in areas that need it the most.
So if you’ve beaten cancer but are still feeling the effects of the condition or your treatment, know that you have an ally in your fight to improve your health. Sync up with a physical therapy team that is committed to helping you return to the healthiest version of yourself as possible. For more information or to talk to one of our physical therapists about your needs or options, give our clinic a call today at (612) 339-2041.