Oncology & Lymphoedema Physio

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 Rehabilitation

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

  • Reduced joint movement
  • Reduced joint strength
  • Scarring
  • Pain
  • Sensation changes
  • Cording after axillary lymph node surgery
  • Lymphoedema

Or there may be whole body changes due to chemotherapy or immunotherapy such as

  • A feeling of general weakness
  • Unrelenting fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest
  • Reduction in physical fitness

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

  • Providing skilled assessment and education
  • Improving joint strength and movement
  • Reducing scarring and pain
  • Managing cording
  • Managing lymphoedema
  • Providing individualised exercise advice and options

Exercise and Cancer

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:

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • pain
  • aerobic fitness
  • muscle and bone strength
  • daily functional ability
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • psychological wellbeing
  • quality of life

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:

  • Individualised exercise advice
  • Individualised clinical pilates using reformers or mat exercises
  • Pilates classes
  • 1:1 Personal Training covering cardio rehab, strength training, mobility training

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

  • swelling of a limb or area of the body
  • a feeling of heaviness
  • fullness or ache
  • changes in skin texture and health
  • recurrent skin infections

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

  • Skilled assessment and education
  • Improvement in limb or joint movement
  • Lymphatic drainage massage
  • Compression bandaging
  • Garment prescription and fitting
  • Kinesiotaping
  • Individualised exercise advice

Early intervention is highly recommended however treating lymphoedema at any stage is beneficial to a person’s physical function and emotional wellbeing

FLEXercise Clinical Exercise Classes Are:

  • Supervised and instructed by APPI pilates trained Physiotherapists
  • Limited to 6 participants per class for close supervision and social distancing (In many timeslots there are just 5).
  • Suitable for injured and uninjured clients
  • Using affordable, portable exercise equipment you can buy and use at home independently
  • Conveniently close to the CBD for busy people
  • Affordable and covered by Private Health Insurance, leaving little out of pocket expense
  • Tailored to the needs and goals of the participants due to our Pilates Screening
Oncology & Lymphoedema Physio

FLEXercise Classes Will Help You:

  • Recognise non optimal movement strategies and retrain more optimal patterns
  • Develop a strong abdomen, lower back, and buttocks
  • Improve your posture and flexibility
  • Learn breath awareness and release tension
  • Master better body control, becoming stronger in both upper and lower body
  • Help prevent injury via improved body awareness, or recover from your injury
  • Relax, rejuvenate and feel better

FLEXercise Class Screenings

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.

FLEXercise Principles to Retrain more Optimal Movement

  • Recognise & Retrain non-optimal movement patterns
  • Research based rehabilitation
  • Breathing
  • Control - using core and proximal stability
  • Flowing, smooth, easy movement
  • Dissociation - learning multiple movement options

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.

Oncology & Lymphoedema Physio

Visit the experts at FLEX Health Therapy today

FLEX Health Therapy in Hobart provides exceptional Physiotherapy, including assessment and diagnosis, effective hands on therapy, and targeted exercise rehabilitation, looking after you from top to toe.