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The Transformative Power of Physiotherapy for People with Cancer

Facing a cancer diagnosis is a life-altering experience that brings with it a multitude of physical and emotional challenges. As medical advancements continue to improve cancer treatment outcomes, the significance of integrating Physiotherapy rehabilitation into the care plan of cancer patients has gained substantial recognition and research backing. 

Ideally it would be part of everyone’s cancer journey, so we’re delighted to be able to restart our cancer rehabilitation service here at Auckland Physiotherapy. Kirsten will now be providing PINC and STEEL certified cancer rehabilitation in 1-1 sessions and group classes. 

In this blog post, we'll delve into the essential reasons why exercise and Physiotherapy have been shown to be incredibly beneficial for individuals navigating their cancer journey. 

Inclusive Programs for All Stages:

The PINC and STEEL programs have emerged as beacons of hope for people with cancer, embracing individuals from the initial diagnosis to those 25+ years post-diagnosis. This inclusivity underscores the understanding that exercise and rehabilitation are essential not only for recovery but also for enhancing long-term quality of life. It’s never too early or too late to start.

Embarking on cancer treatment is daunting, but early intervention through Physiotherapy can provide a sense of preparedness and understanding. Starting rehabilitation prior to surgery or other treatment can equip you with tools to counteract and manage potential challenges, ultimately facilitating a faster recovery process. 

Remaining physically active during cancer treatment is paramount. Physiotherapy helps to reduce pain, increase energy levels, minimise side effects, prevent complications, and alleviate stress and anxiety. It counteracts the adverse effects of inactivity, enabling you to maintain your strength and resilience throughout treatment.

Post-surgery and treatment can bring various physical hurdles. Physiotherapists specialise in identifying these challenges and designing interventions that address specific issues like pain, strength reduction, body image concerns, and fatigue. By reintroducing movement and exercise, secondary health conditions can be prevented, and the likelihood of cancer recurrence reduced.

Individually Tailored Treatment:

Cancer rehabilitation extends beyond medical treatment by acknowledging the importance of holistic well-being. With a focus on empowering you to regain control of your life, Physiotherapists create bespoke exercise regimens that cater to your specific needs and limitations. This personalised approach ensures that rehabilitation aligns with your unique condition, treatment trajectory, and goals. Some of the benefits of engaging in rehabilitation include:

  • Restoring Strength, Flexibility, and Confidence:
    • Cancer and its treatments can sap physical strength, flexibility and fitness, leaving you feeling disconnected from your own body. Physiotherapy interventions work wonders in helping you regain lost physical capacity and as a result, a renewed sense of confidence in your body often follows.
  • Boosting Energy Levels and Combatting Fatigue
    • Fatigue is a prevalent symptom faced by many cancer patients, making even simple daily activities challenging. Whilst you may initially feel that you don’t have enough energy for additional exercise, research shows that engaging in targeted exercises under the guidance of a qualified therapist can increase energy levels. This enables you to better manage your daily routines and maintain a semblance of normalcy during treatment and beyond.
  • Alleviating Pain and Muscular Tension
    • Cancer-related pain and muscular tension can be debilitating. Physiotherapists employ a range of techniques and exercises to alleviate pain and release muscular tension. These interventions not only improve your physical comfort but also contribute to a more positive outlook on your recovery journey.
  • Empowering Self-Care and Long-Term Recovery:
    • Physiotherapy sessions impart patients with invaluable knowledge about exercises that can enhance their recovery and prevent long-term complications. By becoming  an active participant  in your rehabilitation, you are empowered to take control of your well-being beyond the clinic. 

In summary, the role of Physiotherapy rehabilitation as part of a cancer journey is nothing short of transformative. We can offer hope, strength and a roadmap to recovery. With each session we can support you to take a step closer to reclaiming your life from the clutches of cancer. It really is making better lives possible. 

If you’d like to find out more about our cancer rehabilitation service click here or you can book a complimentary call with Kirsten to discuss your needs.

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