All posts by Arash Manizad

post mastectomy physical therapy

Post-Mastectomy Physical Therapy

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

The word cancer is a scary one. Even though we all hope that it never becomes part of our lifetime of trials, more often than not, we know someone that has had, or is currently dealing with cancer. It is a testament to the medical community that so many women are able to wear the pink ribbon as a sign of triumph and pride, but we still mourn with those that wear it as a sign of remembrance and loss. More than once, while talking with women that have begun treatment for breast cancer, the topic of whether or not to have a mastectomy has come up. It’s not a decision taken lightly, often one with multiple concerns about what happens after surgery. Will the cancer be gone for good? Will it hurt? How long will it take to recover? A physical therapy post mastectomy program can help address these issues.

Physical Therapy can’t answer all of those questions, but one thing a physical therapy post mastectomy program can do is aid in the overall recovery process by focusing on regaining strength and increasing the range of motion in your shoulder and arm. Early intervention by a physical therapist can help women regain full function following mastectomy surgery, regardless of whether or not a woman has had reconstruction. Rehabilitation is always tailored to each patient’s specific needs. Not every patient experiences the same recovery, and as such physical therapists are prepared to help patients experiencing a multitude of symptoms – some have been highlighted below.

Size, location and the type of mastectomy are important considerations when choosing a type of treatment. Exercises to maintain shoulder range of motion and arm mobility may be prescribed as early as 24 hours after surgery.  These exercises are important in restoring strength and promoting good circulation. As rehabilitation progresses these exercises may be modified to meet new goals.

After mastectomy surgery, patients may experience tightness around the surgical site. This is caused by scar tissue formation. The result can be very dense tissue under the incision, which is painful and can restrict range of motion.  The restricted range of motion puts a woman at risk for a painful condition known as frozen shoulder. Early treatment by a physical therapist can help reduce the pain and help regain functional range of motion and strength.

Numbness and/or nerve sensitivity at the surgical site can develop post-mastectomy. Manual therapy can help restore sensation and relieve nerve pain. In severe cases, a chronic condition known as post-mastectomy pain syndrome may develop.  This is caused by scar tissue impinging on nerves. Physical therapy can be very effective at releasing scar tissue and reducing this nerve related pain.

Axillary node dissection can lead to a condition known as cording or axillary web syndrome.  Cording presents as a moderate to painful tightening, which appears as “cords” emanating from the armpit and extending down the arm. Cording significantly restricts range of motion and arm function. Manual therapy and therapeutic stretching helps to resolve this condition quickly.

Radiation treatment after mastectomy surgery can exacerbate posture and range of motion problems, causing fibrosis and skin tightness. Manual therapy can remediate these issues and may prevent them from ever becoming a problem.

The Benefits of Exercise and Physical Therapy post mastectomy treatment programs can differ greatly as seen above, but there are a few benefits that all patients can benefit from:

  • Improved shoulder range of motion
  • Improved shoulder strength
  • Improved functional mobility
  • Improved posture
  • Decreased pain at the surgical site
  • Decreased edema on the affected side
  • Improved sensation at the surgical site

Meeting with a physical therapist before surgery can help you feel more at ease and more confident in your overall recovery goals. It’s never too early to ask questions! To find a physical therapy clinic near you click here.

For more information on cancer related physical therapy programs click here:

    
walking zombies

How Much Walking Can Zombies Do?

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

walking zombies

As Halloween approaches it’s hard not to consider our monster what-if’s. So we just decided to go with it and take a look at just how far our limbs can carry us without sustaining injury, assuming they weren’t eaten during the unfortunate event that caused us to turn into zombies in the first place. Zombies quite frankly do a lot of walking; most of it is rather aimless but all in all they seem to cover quite a bit of distance. If we were doomed to spend eternity in a constant state of walk/run/hobble we would likely find that zombies might experience many of the same injuries that our fellow runners face.  Here’s a few that we came up with.

IT (Iliotibial) Band Syndrome is caused by improper footwear and the increasing of mileage and/or intensity too quickly. Symptoms manifest after a short period of running with a sharp pain on the outside of the knee.

Piriformis Syndrome is commonly caused by increase in mileage and/or intensity, and poor running mechanics associated with weak hips and core. The symptoms include local pain and tightness in the buttocks with possible tingling or numbness down the back of the leg.

Shin Splints, caused by improper footwear, lack of flexibility in the calves and running on hard surfaces, they cause a throbbing or aching pain along the front of the shin usually occurring during or following a prolonged walk or run.

Runner’s Knee, caused by increasing distance and/or as well as poor running mechanics. It’s symptoms include swelling and aching pain behind and/or around the kneecap and pain walking up and down stairs.

Now, how do we combat these injuries?

Always begin activity with a light warm up 10 minutes spent following that light rustle in the woods would serve you better than an all-out sprint towards your next unsuspecting victim

Stretch, reaching overhead to get the foot on the ledge or bending down to get to the snack hiding under the car

Rest, when that same snack locks you in a closet just go with it you could use the break.

And lastly shoes. Proper footwear is essential so let’s hope that you weren’t turned on flip flop day or in those 6 inch heels.

But in all seriousness whether you are a runner, walker, pro, novice, or zombie you never have to live in pain. Don’t be afraid to seek help if injury occurs, the best treatment for an injury is early management and education.

 

Back Pack Safety

Back Pack Safety 101

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Back Pack Safety
With summer coming to an end and the need for school supplies and backpacks returning, here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping with your child. Continue below for back pack safety tips to make sure your kids don’t have any unnecessary back pain this year.

Size

  • Should Not Extend Above Shoulders
  • Should Rest In Contour Of Low Back (Not Sag Down Toward Buttocks)
  • Should Sit Evenly In Middle Of Back

Fit

  • Shoulder Straps Should Rest Comfortably On Shoulders And Underarms, With Arms Free To Move – Tighten Shoulder Straps To Achieve This Fit
  • Tighten Hip And Waist Straps To Hold Pack Near Body
  • Padded Straps Help Even Pressure Over The Shoulders

ThinkstockPhotos-78779211

Weight Of Pack

  • Should Never Exceed 15% Of The Child’s Weight To Avoid Excess Loads On The Spine

BackPack Weight Charts

Lifting Of Pack

  • Proper Lifting Is Done By Bending The Knees, Squatting To Pack Level, And Keeping Pack Close To Body To Lift First To Waist Level And Then Up To Shoulders

Carrying The Pack

  • Keep Both Shoulder Straps In Place And Pack Centered
  • Spinal Forces Increase With Distance From The Body’s Center

Posture

  • Uneven Stresses On The Spine Can Cause Muscle Imbalances. This Can Lead To Pain And Possibly Functional Scoliosis.

If your child does start to complain of constant back pain, talk to your pediatrician and make sure that it isn’t a more serious issue such as scoliosis.

Scoliosis is a medical condition in which the spine is curved either front to back or side to side and is often rotated to one side or the other. It can occur at birth (congenitally), develop over time having no obvious cause, but often seen related to posture and growth (idiopathically) or due to an injury or the other condition (secondarily), such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy. The most common type is adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. It usually develops between the ages of 10 and 15, during periods of rapid growth. There are two kinds of curves, single or “C” curves and double or “S” curves. “C” curves are slightly more common than “S” curves. The curve can occur in the upper back (thoracic), lower back (lumbar), or a combination of both.

Strength for necessary upright postures of daily life is essential. Sometimes it cannot be maintained due to a “growth spurt,” fatigue from daily postural demands or poor postural habits common among adolescents. A physical therapist can analyze a patient’s history, habits and activities which may be contributing to their curvature and symptoms. Common findings include tightness and decreased motion and strength in the hips and pelvis, causing the lumbar spine to compensate with side bending and rotation. Treatment will include muscular re-educating techniques and manual techniques to restore motion, posture training, specific strengthening and home exercises.

Hot Weather Exercise Tips

Hot Weather Exercise Tips

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Hot Weather Exercise Tips

As the temperatures continue to rise, we have decided to put together a few hot weather exercise tips to consider while staying active and for staying hydrated through the summer.

Set your alarm: Sunrise is generally the coolest time of day, so get up and get out early. It may be more humid, but it is generally still hot at sunset because the ground radiates accumulated heat.

Hydrate: It is recommended to drink at least eight ounces of liquids prior to heading outside to exercise and 6-8 ounces of fluids every 15 minutes, switching between water and an electrolyte drink. Remember to drink plenty of fluids post exercise to speed recovery.

  • Remember to drink water and other fluids throughout the day. Carry a water bottle with you or grab a drink each time you pass a water fountain.
  • Drink 16oz of fluid 2-3 hours before exercise
  • Drink an additional 10oz of fluid 10-20 minutes before exercise
  • Consume 20-40oz of fluid for every hour of exercise
  • Always have water available. Take a bottle to work, the gym or wherever you are headed, and remember to use it.
  • Drink up any time you are in the sun. Just being outside can lead to dehydration
  • Children and the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration
  • Finally don’t rely on thirst as a signal to drink water. Thirst is actually a sign that the body is under stress and by the time you feel thirsty, dehydration has already begun to set in. Other symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, irritability, headache, weakness, dizziness, cramps, nausea and fatigue. Even mild dehydration can lead to diminished performance, elevation of core body temperature and increased cardiovascular strain.

Acclimatize: It is advisable to gradually build up your tolerance for exercising in warmer conditions

Wear Technical Fabrics: Technical fabrics wick sweat from your body to keep you cool. Also, wear a visor to keep sun out of your eyes, not a hat, which traps the heat.

Slow Down: For every 5 degree rise in temperature above 60 degrees F, slow down your activity intensity by 5%

Protect: Use sunscreen to protect your skin and prevent sunburn.

Be realistic: Do not overestimate your level of physical fitness; set realistic exercise goals.

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

blood flow restriction therapy Frisco

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy is a new tool used to decrease the time to return to sport postoperatively.
(http://www.sportsmed.org/AOSSMIMIS/members/downloads/SMU/2017Spring.pdf)

After an injury or surgery, the body’s ability to increase strength is significantly compromised. Individuals who are not able to bear weight or have chronic pain can suffer from muscle atrophy which can take 6-12 months to recover from. Now a patient no longer has to run the risk of significant muscle atrophy during the early recovery phases when Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT) is combined with low intensity resistance training. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20175789)

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Has Been Scientifically Proven To:

  • Significantly increase muscle size (hypertrophy) and strength with less resistance, quicker than traditional therapy. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24476782)
  • Patients have less soreness and muscle fatigue 24 hours after treatment than traditional strength methods.

BFR also provides a natural increase in factors that improve healing such as:

  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin Like Growth Factor
  • Myogenic Stem Cells
  • Decrease in Myostatin Improving Strength

Blood flow restriction therapy is a relatively new technique used by physical therapists to help promote healing in athletes with less risk of re-injury. It is currently being used by 57 major university sports programs, 20 NBA teams, 23 NFL teams, 19 MLB teams and 10 NHL teams nationwide.

Written by the Therapy Team at Frisco Physical Therapy – Frisco, Texas. Frisco Physical Therapy is currently providing blood flow restriction therapy for its patients. The licensed therapists have completed additional training courses in order to provide this service.
To learn more about Frisco Physical Therapy click here.

Cancer Fatigue Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy can Help Battle Cancer Related Fatigue

like what you see? share...Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on Google+
Google+
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin

Should you Consider a Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program?
Cancer treatments are rigorous and can take a toll on the body. If you are feeling tired all the time you’re not alone. The number one complaint of cancer patients, affecting 78% to 96% of those undergoing treatment, is cancer related fatigue(CRF). The goal in Physical Therapy is to help you become as independent as possible. Anyone who experiences signs and symptoms of pain or loss of function would benefit from an individualized physical therapy program.

Physical therapy can help you recover from:
• Chronic pain
• Leg pain
• Shortness of breath after light activity
• Difficulty walking short distance
• Difficulty performing daily tasks
• Extreme weariness and tiredness
• Difficulty paying attention or concentrating

What to Expect from A Physical Therapy Cancer Fatigue Program

Licensed Physical Therapists provide specialized therapeutic services that address the needs of CRF patients. Therapy sessions last approximately thirty minutes to one hour, depending on the patient’s tolerance. The average number of visits per week is 2-3. The physical therapy program is concurrent with the cancer therapy and may last throughout the entire treatment phase. Most programs requires a thorough physical therapy evaluation and a team approach with your physician is maintained.

Consider it a stepping stone approach towards your recovery.
• Address pain—which in turn can alleviate fatigue
• Use non-drug based treatments such as physical modalities:
– Soft tissue & joint mobilization
– TENS
– Heat/Cold
• Coach patient on how to exercise
• Alleviate musculoskeletal dysfunction
• Improve posture
• Combat effects of bed rest
• Help to maintain muscle strength and flexibility, and restore muscle balance
• Help to decrease depression by increasing endorphins
• Improve balance
• Improve endurance
• Core body strengthening

Lady bandana

The Motivation Behind a Cancer Recovery Program
From a physical therapy perspective one of the main reasons for helping cancer patients, comes from seeing individuals for pain problems who were S/P cancer and chemo/radiation. When asked about their the post-treatment care, they said that either; there was none provided, or that they got a few sessions with a lymphedema nurse. Their fatigue and pain symptoms were not addressed.

In looking at what was offered in the community (with the exception of lymphedema nurses) there appeared to be no one addressing the cancer patients—once medical treatment had been completed.

Previous advice for cancer patients was often to get more rest and avoid activities that are physically challenging. Recent studies have shown that exercise was found to be effective in preventing or reducing CRF. No adverse affects from exercising have been reported. Identified as “remarkably under utilized”, exercise is one of the few interventions suggested to diminish CRF and other psychosocial symptoms. If you are struggling to regain your strength and endurance talk to your physical therapist and see if they offer a cancer related fatigue program that can help you get back to doing the things you enjoy.

Information Provided by PTandMe Physical Therapy Partner, Advance Rehabilitation. Advance Rehabilitation has locations throughout GA and Northern FL. More information about Advance Rehabilitation can be found on their website at www.advancerehab.com.

For more information on cancer related physical therapy programs click here: