A cancer diagnosis is a life changing experience, and treatment will undoubtedly be hard on your body. You may also feel like your health and your treatment success are out of your control, but that’s simply not true. When your body is fighting cancer, you need to do everything in your power to ensure it is at its healthiest, and one of the best things you can do for your body is to remain active.
Remaining active while your body is working overtime to fight cancer is no easy task, but one way that you can stay active is by pursuing a physical therapy strengthening program. We explain how a physical therapy routine can help keep your body strong in the wake of a cancer diagnosis.
PT After A Cancer Diagnosis
There are a number of benefits that you’ll find when you pursue a physical therapy program as part of your cancer diagnosis. Some of those benefits include:
- More Energy – Cancer treatment can leave you feeling drained of energy, and when that happens, it can be hard to find the motivation to work out and remain active. This increased inactivity can lead to decreased overall fitness and muscle strength. To help prevent this loss of muscle strength and to help energize your body, consider a physical therapy routine. Your PT will help engage key muscle groups and retain your fitness while your body is fighting off cancer. Improving your fitness will also help keep your energy levels up.
- Mental Health Benefits – A cancer diagnosis will also have a significant effect on your mental health, but physical therapy can help to calm this anxiety and stress. Talking with a provider about your care and how to help manage your health can help to put your mind at ease, and getting your blood pumping and doing some physical exercises can help release hormones that help to control stress. A physical therapy program can absolutely help improve your mental health after a cancer diagnosis.
- Functional Improvements – Cancer treatment can also reduce our functional abilities, especially if you had a surgical excision or radiation treatment. A physical therapy program can help improve physical limitations like flexibility or range of motion. Targeted exercises will help ensure we preserve as much joint motion as possible.
- Medication Management – You may find that you’re taking new medications to help with the cancer diagnosis and pain while you’re undergoing treatment. A physical therapist can help explain how to safely and effectively take pain medication, especially if you’re trying to remain active throughout your treatment. Moreover, physical therapy can help you control pain by releasing endorphins during exercise, which can make it easier for someone to avoid becoming overly reliant on pain medications, which can become addictive.
- Heart Health – Finally, a targeted physical therapy program can work to improve your cardiovascular health, which is important as you navigate a cancer diagnosis.You want to make it easier for your body to pump healthy blood to areas that need it most, and physical therapy can help do that. We’ll also take your current health and cardiovascular health into consideration when designing a program so that you are not overworked during your program.
So if you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, consider the benefits of a physical therapy program and talk to your doctor about adding one to your regular treatment routine. For more information, or to talk to a physical therapist directly, reach out to OrthoRehab Specialists today at (612) 339-2041.