Cancer Related Fatigue
I was referred to Cornerstone Physical Therapy by my surgeon following breast cancer treatment. I had significant neuropathy in both my hands and feet from the chemo medications, as well as general weakness and lack of stamina. In the course of six visits over three weeks, I could see a huge difference in the neuropathy in my hands, which we worked on first. I also had measurable improvements in strength. My insurance has approved some additional visits and we have begun working on my feet. I can’t wait to see the improvement in them as well!! The staff at Cornerstone are compassionate and knowledgeable. Not once have I felt like ‘just another job to do”. Not only do I get physical benefit from my time spent there, I actually enjoy myself!!
The staff here is very positive and professional. They helped me with balance and walking. These are much improved. Without the therapy, I think I would have been unable to walk. The therapy has strengthened my muscles and joints. I am able to use my hands more effectively as a result of the therapy. In the beginning, I couldn’t even button up my clothes. Thank you for the assistance and the help provided.
When I started PT, I had no energy. I couldn’t lift my right arm, and my hands/feet had a hard time with balance and gripping/opening hands. I believe everyone with breast cancer should have PT. I can lift my arm over my head now with no problems. My balancing, hands/feet are stronger. I can walk to and from my car without shortness of breath. I can watch my granddaughter again without falling asleep. I feel stronger and stronger every day. I am exercising now at home on my own and I’m feeling great! Thank you Andrea and Emily for everything!
Before starting PT, I was in constant pain from the middle of my back around to my chest. Every activity hurt, no matter how small the movement. Now after months of PT, there are no activities that I’m afraid to do. The pain in my back has basically disappeared. Even though I’m still tight under my arm, the pain is gone. It only appears when I overdo it. Before PT, I was constantly taking Ibuprofen to manage throughout the day. Now I haven’t needed any pain meds in about a month.
Before I started PT, I was in continuous arm pain, was not able to sleep during nights, not able to lift my left hand, not able to wear tops which don’t open in front, and not able to work with my left hand. But after starting my PT, it helped me slowly get rid of pain, have a good night's sleep, and no restriction on my arm movements. I am able to wear all kinds of cloths and most of all I got my confidence back. Thanks to Emily for all her help in this journey.
Fatigue is one of, if not the most common symptom of patients diagnosed with cancer. Studies show that fatigue affects greater than 90% of patients with cancer, regardless of the type of cancer they have or the types of treatment they receive. Certain treatments, however, make the likelihood of fatigue even greater! The difference between fatigue and just being tired, is that rest does not improve fatigue symptoms. So what can be done?
Researchers agree that exercise is the most effective way to combat cancer-related fatigue. This can seem counter-intuitive. You’re tired, how are you supposed to exercise? That is why physical therapy is so beneficial. Our physical therapist will complete an individual assessment of your goals and your current abilities. From there, they will help you to find the appropriate exercises specific to your needs. As your strength and energy levels improve, they’ll guide you through a progression of exercises so that you continue to be appropriately challenged, without
the risk of injury.
In addition to just improving strength and endurance, our therapy team will also assess how efficiently you are moving. Being off balance or not walking and moving in an efficient way will burn excessive energy. When you don’t have the energy to spare, this is a bad thing. Luckily, our team can guide you to move your body more appropriately so that you can make the most of the strength you have.