Oncology rehab is treatment for our On the Mend Physical Therapy cancer patients who we help treat their pain, swelling, tiredness, and so many other conditions that come with cancer—we’re here to help you improve your quality of life.
Cancer—and cancer treatments like chemotherapy—often lead to physical impairments that further deteriorate a patient’s quality of life. Such impairments include pain, swelling, numbness, weakness, fatigue, joint pain and stiffness, balance and coordination issues, and difficulty walking and moving.
Physical therapists can help address some of the underlying neuromusculoskeletal issues contributing to those impairments, thereby improving a patient’s mobility, independence, and overall health and wellbeing.
Furthermore, because cancer patients are strongly encouraged to maintain a physical exercise regimen—as studies have shown it improves a patient’s chances of surviving cancer—physical therapy has become an integral piece of those patients’ overall care plans.
The physical therapist will begin treatment by performing a comprehensive evaluation and working with the patient to establish goals.
He or she will then create a care plan that may include interventions like:
- Manual therapy (i.e., hands-on techniques)
- Electrical stimulation
- Massage to reduce swelling caused by lymphedema
- Wound care for any surgical incisions
- Exercise to promote aerobic fitness, assist with weight control, enhance mood, alleviate brain fog, increase circulation, and improve strength and balance
- Range of motion exercises to promote flexibility and reduce stiffness
- Application of assistive devices to help with stability
- Creation of a home exercise program to ensure care continuity outside of the clinic
Patients often report a decrease in the severity of symptoms following a physical therapy session or after performing their home exercises. The key is consistency, keeping in mind that programs can be modified as you progress through your primary treatment. Your therapist will work with you to adjust your therapy care plan in accordance with your strength and ability level, maintaining consistent communication and providing continual support throughout your care journey.