Breast Cancer Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation in Hong Kong
How Does Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Help?
Did you know that a physiotherapist can help with your recovery during or after cancer treatment to ease pain and improve your movement? Breast cancer survivors who have undergone various treatments may continue to suffer from different physical side effects during their journey to recovery.
A specialist physiotherapist will perform a comprehensive assessment and design a treatment plan based the individual needs of the patient. The major objectives of cancer rehabilitation is to improve physical function, manage side effects from breast cancer treatment, and enhance overall quality of life.
At Prohealth Sports and Spinal, our physiotherapists will work with you to create a tailored rehabilitation programme to help you recover quicker. Each programme is customised to the individual, any may include various physiotherapy techniques such as soft tissue release techniques and specifically designed exercise programmes. Each treatment will depend on your situation.
Breast Cancer Related Complications
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, please discuss with your specialist whether you may be affected by these complications:
- Post-surgical scarring and tightness due to lumpectomy with axillary dissection, mastectomy, or breast reconstruction
- Soft tissue contracture from radiation therapy
- Decreased movement or function of upper arm, shoulder, upper back and neck region
- Neuropathic pain from chemotherapy
There is always a risk of problems or complications after any operation. Most problems are minor but some can be serious. Treating them as soon as possible is important. Some of the common complications include:
- Feeling tired and weak
- Seroma (fluid collection around the wound site)
- Hematoma (blood collection around the wound site)
- Nerve pain
- Limited shoulder range of motion (shoulder stiffness)
- Arm weakness
- Lymphoedema (a swollen arm and hand)
- Cording (scar tissue in the armpit)
How Does Physiotherapy Help Breast Cancer Patients?
Physiotherapy is an effective rehabilitation method for those who are experiencing the complications after breast surgery (lumpectomy or modified radical mastectomy).
After surgery, patients often experience pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Physiotherapy can help restore these physical functions through targeted exercises and mobility training. Physical activity and physiotherapy treatments has been proven to reduce the incidence of post-cancer musculoskeletal disorder.
Breast cancer treatment can disrupt the lymphatic system, leading to chronic swelling known as lymphedema, which is a common complication from breast cancer surgery. Physiotherapists skilled in lymphatic drainage techniques can help manage this condition and prevent its progression.
Physiotherapy techniques like manual therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises can help manage cancer-related pain.
Improve Your Physical Strength & Mobility
Cancer treatments often result in fatigue, muscle weakness and muscle loss. Physiotherapy can help rebuild strength, enhance physical fitness, and facilitate a gradual return to regular activities.
Physiotherapy Assessments for Breast Cancer Patients
- Medical history review and planning of cancer treatment pathway
- Shoulder and spinal range of motion
- Muscle strength of shoulder and arm
- Scar and skin condition
- Sensation of shoulder and arm
- Any signs of lymphedema
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Services & Advice
- Range of motion exercise for shoulder and related areas
- Graded strengthening exercise
- Core strengthening (for TRAM flap reconstruction)
- Joint, soft tissue and scar mobilisation
- Desensitisation technique for neuropathic pain
- Lymphatic management includes positional drainage, manual lymphatic drainage and educational advice
- Endurance exercise prescription plan and lifestyle advice
- Goal setting according to lifestyle needs
We design holistic rehabilitation programmes that address patients’ concerns, from the physical ability to pain management.
Once the wound is stable, shoulder and arm rehabilitation exercises are introduced under one-on-one supervised sessions to gradually restore range and muscle strength, scar tissue restrictions and cording in the arms is assessed and soft tissue release techniques are taught and administered. Scar tissue massage can benefit wound healing from axillary dissection (common in invasive breast cancer when the procedure accompanies a mastectomy), which may otherwise lead to shoulder tightness and discomfort. Patients will be reassessed regularly to ensure the progress of the treatment and detect any early signs of lymphedema (accumulation of lymph in soft tissue).
A Customised Plan to Suit Your Needs
Breast cancer patients or post-cancer patients may start the programme anytime after their surgeon or medical specialist considers it safe to proceed. The treatment plan will be adjusted according to their individual condition, current treatment regimen, and advice from their specialist. As a norm, this treatment programme may be conducted for a duration of 4 to 6 weeks with the frequency of one or two visits per week, or up to a few months depending on individual progress.
Need Help? Book an Appointment Today!
If you are experiencing jaw pain or suspect you have a TMJ disorder, our dedicated physiotherapists are here to help you find relief. Take the first step towards a pain-free jaw and improved quality of life by booking an appointment with us today. You can conveniently book online through our website, contact us directly via phone or WhatsApp, or email us for more information.
You may also book your appointment online through the link below:
Useful Resources and Articles
If you would like to learn more about physiotherapy and cancer rehabilitation, check out our articles below: