Oncology Rehabilitation

Oncology Rehabilitation
September 28, 2012 tiffany

For patients who have undergone all types of cancer surgery and related reconstructive surgeries, Imua Physical Therapy Specializes in Post-Surgery rehabilitation.

Why is Post Cancer Surgery Treatment Important?

Very often, additional treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, need to be initiated soon after surgery, and often before full healing has taken place. Physical therapy can help speed up the recovery time from surgery. By facilitating healing, we can prepare the tissues, and the patient, for the next phase of treatment.

Cancer related surgeries often involve local lymph node removal, and this can affect the normal healing processes in the area of surgery. Early intervention and treatment can help reduce the local inflammation that often slows down the usual healing process. Early treatment also assists the lymph system to begin its own healing. There is no better time to optimize the healing of both the tissues and the lymphatic system than during the early stages of recovery!

When is the Best time to Start Physical Therapy Treatment after Surgery?

The best time to initiate physical therapy at Imua Physical Therapy is 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.

What Are Typical Post-Surgery Rehabilitation Goals?

There are a multitude of individual goals, depending on each patient’s presentation and the location of surgery. Goals for all patients includes:

  • Minimizing pain
  • Minimizing swelling and inflammation
  • Improving range of motion
  • Improving strength
  • Improving postural return
  • Maximizing mobility
  • Maximizing functional return to exercise, hobbies, and social/occupational life



Imua Physical Therapy specializes in rehabilitation for patients who are currently going through, or who have gone through, radiation therapy. Our knowledge and techniques facilitate treatment to any or all areas of the body – the head and neck region, the trunk region, the arms, the pelvic region, and the legs.

Why is Treatment Important During Radiation Therapy?

During radiation therapy, there is often tissue trauma, as well as inflammation of the tissues. Local inflammation eventually leads to the formation of scar tissue, which can then cause feelings of tissue tightness and loss of mobility and flexibility in the area of radiation –

  • In the head and neck region, this can lead to difficulties with neck, facial, and jaw movements
  • In the arms and upper body this can lead to range of motion difficulties and postural difficulties
  • In the legs and lower body this can lead to range of motion difficulties, as well as functional difficulties with walking, running, balance, etc.
When is the Best time to Start Physical Therapy Treatment?

The best time to start physical therapy treatment is during the early stages of radiation therapy. This will help reduce local inflammation and, the more the inflammation is reduced by physical therapy, the less scar tissue fibrosis there will be further along in the healing process.

At Imua Physical Therapy, we work with your radiation therapy schedule and arrange your physical therapy treatments accordingly so that you can accommodate both sets of appointments in the most efficient and timely way.

What if it has been Months or Years Since Receiving Radiation Therapy?

Physical Therapy is still extremely important. It is never too late to start. Physical therapy is very beneficial in helping restore tissue mobility, tissue flexibility, range of motion, strength, and good return of postural control so as to restore function to all affected areas of the body. There are many goals, including the following:

  • Promoting Healing of Skin and Delicate Tissues
  • Reducing Scar Tissue Formation
  • Minimizing Pain, Swelling and Inflammation
  • Improving Range of Motion
  • Improving Postural Return
  • Maximizing Mobility
  • Maximizing Functional Return to Exercise, Hobbies, and Social/Occupational Life

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