Side effects of Treatment and Managing them with Physical Therapy
It’s possible to manage pain effectively for most cancer patients and survivors. Although cancer-related pain cannot always be relieved completely, therapy can lessen pain for nearly all people with cancer. Effective management of pain and other symptoms improves quality of life throughout all stages of the disease.
Physical therapy for cancer patients does the following:
● Improves energy levels
● Decreases fatigue
● Helps you keep a healthy weight
● Relieves stress
● Strengthens muscles
Exercise and Cancer Pain
Exercising with cancer pain doesn’t have to be strenuous. In fact, simple exercises, such as walking, can be very beneficial in helping you manage cancer as well as cancer pain symptoms. Movement itself can stimulate circulation, reduce muscle and joint inflammation and bring relief to body pain.
Signs and Symptoms of Lymphedema
Lymphedema is a common side-effect of cancer treatment if a lymph node has been irradiated or removed.
● Swelling in your arms, legs, shoulders, hands, fingers, chest, or neck.
● Skin that feels tighter, harder, or thicker than normal in the affected area.
● Aching, tingling, or a feeling that your arm or leg is heavy.
● Weakness in your arm or leg.
● Inability to move certain joints, such as your wrist or ankle, as freely as usual.
● Pitting (indentation) in the tissues of your limb (made by pressing a finger on the skin that takes time to “fill in” after removing the pressure).
● Clothing, rings, bracelets, or shoes that fit tighter than before.
● Repeated infections in your arm or leg.
● Joint pain.
● Difficulty doing your daily activities.
Fatigue is a common side-effect of cancer treatment and can be extremely difficult to manage at times. Fatigue can result in a poor appetite, mental and emotional distress and increased body pain. Managing fatigue is important to improve quality of life and recovery of a cancer patient.
Physical movement and exercise is actually a very effective way to manage and reduce fatigue to a great extent. Movement releases endorphins and as a result there is more energy in the body.
Lack of appetite
Physical exercise will help in improving the appetite of a cancer patient. Most patients feel nausea and have a reduced appetite as a result. Exercise or any form of movement that expels some amount of energy will stimulate hunger and improve appetite. This is a great way to manage nausea and vomiting as well.
Sleep is one of the most important factors to improve the immune system and overall recovery and healing of a cancer patient. Insomnia or disturbed sleep cycles are often experienced while going through cancer treatment and this can be eradicated or reduced drastically with including an exercise or movement regimen daily.
Tags: cancer, cancer patients, sleep, immune system, physical therapy, exercise, movement, fatigue, lymphedema, nausea, appetite, vomiting, energy, muscles, joint pain, cancer pain, weight, body pain, quality of life, physical activity, insomnia