Cancer Rehabilitation


A physiotherapist can play an important role in cancer rehabilitation.

Treatment for cancer can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or immunotherapy. With these essential treatments, some side effects can happen that may affect your recovery and well-being. These side effects may include:

  • Muscle, joint or nerve pain
  • Decreased strength and endurance
  • Loss of mobility, reduced ability to move your joints, frozen shoulder
  • Chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy – e.g., nerve pain or sensation changes in the hands or feet.
  • Balance issues; unsteadiness, dizziness, vertigo or falls
  • Fatigue and/or “chemo brain”
  • Lymphedema
  • Cording in the armpit or down the arm or trunk (axillary web syndrome)
  • Radiation fibrosis
  • Osteoporosis

These side effects can be effectively improved with physiotherapy. Aspects of treatment for these issues may involve:

  • Education to understand these side effects and what is happening with your unique situation.
  • Exercise to improve mobility and flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance.
  • Hands-on myofascial soft tissue mobilization, cord release and fibrosis/scar release.
  • Joint mobilization and movement techniques.
  • Education on self-management strategies of the possible issues.
  • Lymphatic massage to maximize your lymphatic system function.
  • Combined Decongestive Therapy for lymphedema

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