Breast Cancer Recovery & Rehabilitation

Treatment to fight cancer is one thing…recovery is quite another. Our goal is to restore function and teach self-management strategies early in the post-mastectomy recovery process. We will be there for the entire journey from start to finish. Our team has the education and experience to ensure that you receive the best care possible after your breast cancer surgery or radiation therapy.

If you are recovering from breast cancer or have had a prophylactic (preventative) mastectomy after a positive test for the BRCA gene mutation or other genetic mutations, we are here for you. Physical therapy has been shown to be beneficial in aiding you in the breast cancer recovery process and can help breast cancer patients in many different ways.

Reasons physical therapy post-surgery may be prescribed:

To prepare for radiation treatment:

  • A certain amount of shoulder range of motion is required to begin breast cancer treatment

To reduce post-breast surgery side effects:

• Scar tissue/soft tissue mobility
• Axillary Web Syndrome (AWS) (Cording)
• Flexibility
• Range of motion
• Strength

To combat the side effects of chemotherapy:

• Decreased cardiovascular endurance
• Sarcopenia (age-related loss of lean muscle strength and function, replaced by fat)

What makes physical therapy for breast cancer different from traditional physical therapy?

Manual therapists have been trained to restore scar tissue mobility, range of motion, flexibility, strength, and muscular and cardiovascular endurance. With a patient who is recovering from breast cancer, physical therapy specialization requires not only treating these side effects but also having a thorough understanding of specific precautions. These specifics include post-surgical, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy precautions, the importance of scar tissue mobility, stretching, and progressive strengthening.

Physical Therapy for breast cancer can help with:

  • Myofascial release techniques
  • Shoulder dysfunction management
  • Orthopedic shoulder and/or neck issues
  • Posture restoration
  • Post-fat-grafting and plastic surgery tissue remodeling
  • Acute and chronic rehabilitation strategies
  • Lymphedema prevention, treatment, and management
  • Reconstruction soft tissue re-alignment and functional breast cancer recovery
  • Wound and skincare as needed
  • Cancer-related fatigue management
  • Breast care for individuals who test positive for BRCA gene mutation or other genetic mutations

Empowerment through Education

Our highly trained therapists also focus heavily on patient education. We believe that empowerment through knowledge is a vital component of the rehabilitation process, and we will make sure that you are educated about what to expect throughout your journey. Our goal is to help you feel prepared and knowledgeable about symptoms you may encounter following breast cancer surgery, as well as activities and/or exercises that may be helpful to you throughout your healing process.

If you have just undergone targeted breast cancer treatment, now is the time to receive effective, targeted therapy from Ivy Rehab to assist your recovery. Our recovery therapists are experts in post-surgery treatment to help breast cancer patients with a comfortable rehabilitation process. 

“After my mastectomy, I had problems with my skin, swelling, shoulder movement, pain – you name it – it hurt! I can’t believe what a difference seeing a physical therapist made. My whole life is better, and I am back to work, lifting my daughter, and I feel normal again. I just wish I had started sooner. Thank you for helping me see myself as a whole person again…better than ever!” ~ Karen

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