Dr. Dharam Pandey

HOD and consultant - Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Sciences

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Reviewed by

Dr. Dharam Pandey

HOD and consultant - Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Sciences

Manipal Hospitals, Delhi

Role Of Physiotherapy In Cancer Treatment

Reviewed by:

Dr. Dharam Pandey

Posted On: Feb 16, 2024

blogs read 6 Min Read

Role of Physiotherapy in Cancer Treatment

Greetings to all readers, especially those who have faced the challenges of cancer treatment or know someone who has. In this blog, we will delve into a subject that's often overlooked but profoundly impactful: the role of physiotherapy in cancer treatment. We aim to provide simple explanations, share relatable examples, and highlight the unique approach at Manipal Hospitals, where physiotherapists are integral members of a collaborative healthcare team, ensuring the best care for faster recovery.

Understanding The Role Of Physiotherapy In Cancer Treatment

Cancer, a formidable adversary, often requires a multifaceted approach to treatment. While oncologists, surgeons, and medications play a pivotal role, physiotherapy is an essential component that addresses the physical challenges and side effects of cancer and its treatments. It's about empowering patients to regain their strength, mobility, and overall well-being during and after cancer treatment.

Our Uniqueness at Manipal Hospitals

At Manipal Hospitals, our commitment to patient care goes beyond the conventional. Our physiotherapists are an integral part of a collaborative healthcare team, working hand-in-hand with oncologists and other specialists. This approach ensures that patients receive comprehensive care that addresses their unique needs and accelerates the cancer recovery process. Visit the best physiotherapy hospital in Delhi to get the finest treatment.

Now, let's explore what happens during a typical physiotherapy session for cancer patients, accompanied by examples of surgeries or treatments where physiotherapy plays a crucial role.

The Role of Physiotherapy in Cancer Treatment

  • Pain Management

Cancer treatments can often lead to pain, either as a direct result of the disease or due to surgeries and procedures. Physiotherapists employ various techniques, including manual therapy and modalities, to alleviate pain and discomfort. For example, after breast cancer surgery, patients may experience pain and stiffness in the shoulder and chest area. Physiotherapists can use gentle techniques to improve mobility and reduce pain.

  • Lymphedema Management

Lymphedema is a common side effect of cancer treatment, particularly in breast cancer survivors. Physiotherapists are trained to provide manual lymphatic drainage and teach patients how to manage lymphedema effectively.

For example, a patient who has undergone lymph node dissection as part of breast cancer treatment may develop lymphedema in the arm. Physiotherapy sessions include techniques to reduce swelling and prevent further complications.

  • Improving Range of Motion

Surgeries and radiation therapy can lead to reduced joint mobility and muscle weakness. Physiotherapists work on improving range of motion and muscle strength to enhance overall functional capacity. After prostate cancer surgery, some men may experience urinary incontinence and lower back pain. Physiotherapy can include pelvic floor exercises and core strengthening to address these issues.

  • Fatigue Management

Cancer-related fatigue is a common and debilitating symptom. Physiotherapists design exercise programs that combat fatigue and improve overall energy levels. Patients undergoing chemotherapy may experience extreme fatigue. Physiotherapy sessions may include gentle exercises to build stamina and manage fatigue.

  • Respiratory Care

Lung cancer patients or those who have undergone chest surgeries may face respiratory challenges. Physiotherapists provide breathing exercises and chest clearance techniques to improve lung function. Following lung cancer surgery, patients may experience reduced lung capacity. Physiotherapy can include exercises to enhance lung function and reduce the risk of postoperative complications.

  • Functional Independence

Maintaining independence in daily activities is crucial for the quality of life of cancer patients. Physiotherapists help patients regain their ability to perform daily tasks. For example, patients with bone metastases or fractures may require assistance with walking and transferring. Physiotherapy can focus on improving mobility and regaining independence.

Physiotherapy During and After Hospitalisation

During hospitalization, physiotherapy sessions are typically provided in the patient's room or in the hospital's physiotherapy department. Depending on the patient's condition, these sessions may include:

  • Assessment

A thorough evaluation to understand the patient's physical condition, limitations, and goals.

  • Pain Management

Techniques such as manual therapy or modalities like heat or cold therapy to alleviate pain.

  • Breathing Exercises

Especially important for lung cancer patients or those with respiratory issues.

  • Early Mobilization

Encouraging patients to move and walk as soon as possible after surgery or during treatments to prevent complications like blood clots.

  • Education

Teaching patients and their families about home exercises, mobility aids, and strategies to manage pain and symptoms.

After discharge, physiotherapy often continues on an outpatient basis. Patients may visit a physiotherapy clinic to receive ongoing care and support for a smoother recovery. Conslut with our physiotherapist in Delhi to know more about it. 

A Vital Companion on the Journey to Healing 

Physiotherapy is a vital companion on the challenging journey of cancer treatment. It's about more than just physical exercises; it's a holistic approach to improving the quality of life for cancer patients.

At Manipal Hospitals, our dedication to collaborative care ensures that patients receive the best possible treatment. We have the best physiotherapists in Delhi, who are here not just to assist in physical recovery but to uplift the spirits and empower patients to regain their strength and mobility.

So, whether you're facing cancer treatment yourself or supporting a loved one through this journey, remember that physiotherapy is here to help you reclaim your life, one step at a time. Explore our official blog page to read more blogs related to physiotherapy, how physiotherapy can help you regain strength and mobility after an orthopaedic surgery and many more blogs on lifestyle and nutrition. 

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