LCHM Summer 2018 - 25
L C M E D S O C .O R G
who we are?
that they have to live with pain, fatigue and difficulty with movement, but
an appropriate, well-designed physical therapy and rehabilitation program
can go a long way to minimize these issues.
We'd be happy
Patients who are undergoing treatment and those who are living with chronic
side effects can both benefit from physical therapy. While therapy is always
customized to the individual patient, it generally focuses on strengthening,
functional training that helps individuals more easily perform activities of
daily life, as well as exercises to improve balance.
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For patients who have experienced stiffness due to mastectomy, radiation
or general deconditioning, stretching and range of motion exercises help
improve flexibility. Therapy focuses on balance and strengthening exercises
for people who have developed peripheral neuropathy, the most common
side effect of chemotherapy after fatigue.
A recent patient is a good example of how rehabilitation can help cancer
patients. This individual had completed her chemotherapy and radiation
and complained to her family physician that she did not have energy to do
everyday tasks, let alone get back to regular trips to the grocery store or gym
for exercise class. She was having trouble with balance and getting up from a
chair. She used a cane for stability and had significant weakness in her arms
and legs as well as overall fatigue.
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A therapy program was designed for her that consisted of strengthening
exercises for both lower extremities, balance and functional mobility exercises.
As part of the program, she practiced getting up and down from a chair, on
and off a bed and climbing stairs, while monitoring her heart rate and fatigue.
Over an eight-week period of physical therapy twice a week, she made
significant improvement in speed, flexibility and range of motion to the
point that she was able to get out of a standard height chair with ease and
no longer used a cane. Most importantly, she reached her own personal goal
to return to exercise classes in her community.
If you, a friend or a loved one is going through or has finished cancer
treatment, consider oncology rehabilitation if you:
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HAVE DIFFICULTY COMPLETING DAILY LEISURE ACTIVITIES DUE
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HAVE DIFFICULTY STANDING UP FROM A CHAIR
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HAVE TROUBLE PICKING UP OR PLAYING WITH CHILDREN
ARE UNABLE TO REACH INTO A CABINET
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HAVE MUSCLE OR JOINT PAIN, TINGLING OR NUMBNESS
EXPERIENCE SWELLING OR HEAVINESS
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Reading, PA 19602
SUMMER 2018 | Lehigh County Health & Medicine 25
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of LCHM Summer 2018
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