Monday 6 January 2014

Limited Joint Mobility Can Be Improved With Cancer Rehabilitation

Celeste Petrusevski, Registered Physiotherapist at LifeMark Physiotherapy on Bay, guides a patient in range of motion exercises

Joint Stiffness and Reduced Range of Motion Can Happen Months or Even Years After Patients Have Already Completed Their Cancer Treatments

One of the impacts of cancer treatment sometimes experienced by patients after cancer treatment is limited range of motion, or the reduced ability to easily move their limbs from particular joints. This reduced ability to move occurs due to joint stiffness, pain, swelling, or muscle aches. These are among the less recognized problems that can occur after chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy or biotherapy treatments. Sometimes side effects of cancer treatment can arise months or even years after the treatment has already ended. Cancer rehabilitation specializes in assisting patients to recover from those side effects and improve their quality of life.

Cancer physiotherapy can help improve limited range of motion through specialized exercise techniques called "range of motion" exercises. These exercises, which are done very gently, are designed to move the stiff joints through to their full range of movement. When working with a cancer rehab physiotherapist, a patient will be prescribed range of motion exercises that are required to be done daily in prescribed repetition according to their individualized treatment plan.

"Many patients will experience loss of mobility and strength following cancer treatment and/or surgery", says Celeste Petrusevski, a Registered Physiotherapist at LifeMark Physio on Bay. "This can greatly affect daily activities and lead to pain and weakness over time. As Physiotherapists we work closely with our patients to guide them through specific exercises that are prescribed on a daily basis and completed at home or in the clinic. These client specific exercise programs will work to restore full mobility to the joint in a safe and effective way. Clients can then return to work, activities and hobbies pain free. Having a health professional such as a Physiotherapist address and improve the functional limitations associated with cancer treatment is an integral part of a full recovery."

Every joint has its own normal range of motion, and when joints are functioning properly it is possible to move around freely and perform regular activities without pain. Early rehabilitation can often prevent problems such as joint stiffness from developing, so please don't wait - it is best to seek treatment in the early stages.

To find a Cancer Rehab Canada near you, visit the list of British ColumbiaSaskatchewanOntario, or Nova Scotia locations.

1 comment:

  1. I strongly agree Judy. After surviving the treatments of breast cancer and reconstructive surgery, I can say that having done exercises both before and post op had me mobile faster than any of us expected. The anti- cancer drugs I will be on for five years also have severe joint stiffness side-effects. If I don't continue exercising, I get out of bed like an old woman, stiff in every joint and then some. I prefer to spring out of bed like I used to, before any of this happened to me.With cancer, you have the ability to re-create yourself. And for the better. It's never too early or too late to help yourself.
    Be well.