Lymphoedema is swelling in a limb due to insufficient lymphatic drainage. It is a common side effect of cancer treatment or surgery, and early physiotherapy intervention is recommended for best results.
Cancer affects 1 in 2 people in Australia before the age of 85, and its treatments can cause a variety of side effects that often significantly affect a person’s physical function and emotional wellbeing. Cancer treatments are not limited to, but may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, endocrine (hormone related) therapy and immunotherapy.
Symptoms that patients experience might occur in a localised area of the body, particularly after surgery or radiation therapy such as
Or there may be whole body changes due to chemotherapy or immunotherapy such as
Often these symptoms do not resolve when treatment finishes. Physiotherapy can offer patients a range of treatments to assist in effectively managing or alleviating symptoms, and improve physical function
Flex Health Therapy treatments may include
Research into the importance and safety of exercise before, during and long term after cancer therapy is strongly demonstrating benefits across many aspects of an individual's health and wellbeing.
Exercise during and after cancer treatment has shown improvements in patient's:
Exercise has also been found to help patient's during certain treatments by having a positive effect on an individual's biochemistry and improving a person's ability to tolerate their treatments. Research has even shown a link between exercise and cancer survival .
Although there are recommended general exercise guidelines for cancer patients, it is very important that exercise is individualised for the patient, especially during the various treatments a person may undergo.
At Flex we can offer cancer patients:
Seeing a Physiotherapist as early as possible in your cancer journey is recommended for a better recovery, and importantly may even prevent some side effects and symptoms developing.
Lymphoedema is a condition that affects a large number of people and is the result of an issue with the lymphatic system. Over time an accumulation of fluid, or swelling, occurs in a limb or part of the body.
Lymphoedema can be caused by removal or damage to parts of the lymphatic system, or by a congenital abnormality or absence in an individual’s lymphatics. Lymphoedema is commonly the result of cancer treatments, particularly breast, prostate, skin, gynae and genital cancers. It can also be caused by vascular insufficiency, trauma and scarring, infection or reduced mobility
Symptoms can include
Lymphoedema is a chronic condition that progressively worsens over time if left untreated. Physiotherapy can provide a number of treatments to assist and reduce a patient’s symptoms and prevent worsening of the condition
Our Physiotherapists can offer a variety of treatments such as
Early intervention is highly recommended however treating lymphoedema at any stage is beneficial to a person’s physical function and emotional wellbeing
We require all clients to attend a FLEXercise Screening appointment to allow one of our physiotherapists to assess your ability level, strengths, weaknesses and goals so we can set exercises at the right level to challenge you safely and target the areas you want to improve in.
We are really keen to hear your feedback, ideas, and which days and timeslots suit you.
As Physiotherapists, we also refer to "Dissociation" which combines the concepts of centering, control and precise, flowing movement. Dissociation means that you can hold one region stable whilst moving independently at a nearby segment. (eg. stabilise your spine as you flex and extend at your hip) Physiotherapy research shows us this skill is important in rehabilitation of injuries, as well as in preventing injuries.