Tag Archives: cancer recovery

Cancer Fatigue Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy can Help Battle Cancer Related Fatigue

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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 cancer therapy and may last throughout the entire treatment phase. Most programs require 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

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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 effects of exercising have been reported. Identified as “remarkably underutilized”, 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:

    
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How Physical Therapy Can Benefit Cancer Patients

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Mesothelioma can be one of the most difficult forms of cancer to treat. It is an aggressive illness that starts in the interior lung lining after exposure to asbestos fibers and it quickly spreads to the chest and lungs. As such, an equally intensive form of chemotherapy is often employed as a way to combat the spreading cells. However, this can leave the patient feeling fatigued and distressed. In order to deal with such side effects, many medical professionals recommend alternative treatments, such as physical therapy cancer related fatigue programs as a way for patients to begin feeling better during the recovery process.

Improved Mobility

One of the biggest benefits that physical therapy cancer programs can have for individuals is providing them with a way to improve their mobility. This can be invaluable in improving the patient’s mood as well. With more mobility, the patient will be able to exercise more efficiently, which can lead to a greater degree of independence. Patients can enjoy other activities that they used to engage in as well, such as drawing or walking, and the greater degree of mobility can also be invaluable in reducing long-term pains from staying in bed. As such, physical therapy is often recommended early for those who feel as though they have been cooped up in bed for too long as they recover.

Improved Overall Fitness

Because physical therapy cancer programs are designed to fight against muscular dystrophy, it can be one of the best methods to keep patients healthy. Because so much of the early chemotherapy process requires for individuals to stay relatively stationary to recover, it is not uncommon for many to begin losing muscle mass and feel weaker overall. Physical therapy helps exercise muscles, bringing necessary strength back to the patient as they continue to recover. As the body becomes stronger, the patient will be able to fight against the mesothelioma more efficiently, reducing potential issues in the future of the recovery.

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Improved Respiratory Health

Because of how dangerous the growths are, they can severely impact the way the individual breathes. With poor respiratory health, the patient may feel distressed, and the recovery process may be more difficult that it needs to be. Through physical therapy, the patient is able to improve their ability to breathe, reducing their risk of running into future respiratory issues. Improving breathing function also provides the patient with more support on a cellular level. As lung function improves, the mesothelioma begins to slowly lose ground, resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable healing process for the patient.

Those who are interested in learning more about their physical therapy options should be sure to contact their medical professionals as soon as possible. Through the right basic exercise system, it can be easy for individuals to start to feel better and get their strength back. Like any other such recovery process, however, it is vital for patients to take the recovery slow to build up their strength and improve their outlook in the future.

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