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Physical therapy for oncology rehabilitation

What is oncology rehabilitation?

The inclusion of physical therapy in the cancer recovery process is a relatively new, but rapidly growing strategy. As cancer treatments improve and survival rates continue to increase, recovery strategies are advancing, and oncological PT is increasingly considered standard.

Cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, can be grueling, leaving many patients weakened and unfit. They may also find that their immune system is compromised or that they’re more vulnerable to infectious disease. It’s not uncommon for cancer survivors to experience physical limitations after treatment, including those that interfere with daily activities.

Physical therapy has been shown to help manage a range of impairments associated with cancer treatment, including lymphedema, cancer-related fatigue, nerve damage, weakness, and pain. With the help of a licensed physical therapist, cancer survivors can effectively address some of these issues in their recovery process.

Source: Cure Today

What does oncology rehabilitation treat?

Though oncology rehabilitation can be beneficial to a large portion of cancer patients, it’s most commonly sought out by patients who have survived breast cancer or genitourinary cancers like prostate, bladder, or ovarian cancer. This may be because lymphedema is common in breast cancer survivors, and pelvic floor weakness is common in survivors of genitourinary cancers.

It is not abnormal for survivors of genitourinary cancer to experience incontinence or sexual dysfunction following cancer treatment; fortunately, certain physical therapy exercises have demonstrated a high degree of efficacy in these areas. Similarly, PT has been proven to help in the management lymphedema — one of many symptoms often caused by certain treatments.

Physical therapy can also help mitigate a number of other associated symptoms such as fatigue, pain, numbness, and tingling.

The most common conditions treated by oncology rehabilitation include:

  • Pelvic floor weakness
  • Lymphedema
  • Pain
  • Fatigue

Source: Cure Today

Physical therapy for cancer survivors

Physical therapists can work with cancer patients to reduce their pain and improve mobility and functioning both before and after cancer treatment. Before surgery or chemotherapy, a physical therapist can help to address fatigue, increase physical strength, and improve daily functioning.

After treatment, a physical therapist can help the patient improve mobility, reduce pain, and gain strength with a carefully tailored (and safe) exercise routine. In addition, for patients with lymphedema, a physical therapist can perform manual drainage and lymphatic bandaging.

Source: Cure Today

Luna’s physical therapists specialize in oncology rehabilitation

Luna has physical therapists across the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County who specialize in oncology rehabilitation and are equipped with the expertise and emotional intelligence to handle this complex and sensitive area of medicine. Our PTs will work with you to craft a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs and concerns, helping you to regain health and fitness and return to the activities you love.

Best of all, with Luna, patients can receive oncology rehabilitation right at home. Our physical therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.

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