Female oncology physical therapy targets women overcoming breast and gynecological cancers. The physical changes experienced with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can be overwhelming. Specialty physical therapy care can improve your tolerance and response to oncology treatment. At Indigo, we provide the expert care you need without another trip to the oncology center.
The most common concerns addressed are:
- Swelling after surgery
- Lymphedema and lymphedema risk reduction
- Axillary web syndrome/ cording
- Radiation adhesions and scarring
- Limited range of motion with movement
- Compression garment recommendations
Lymphedema is a type of swelling that can occur anywhere in the body; the most common location include the arm, chest and trunk. Lymphedema is most often caused as a side effect of oncology treatments such as lymph node removal, radiation or chemotherapy. At Indigo we offer comprehensive swelling management from evaluation to long term management. Care typically combines the expertise of our Certified Lymphedema Physical Therapist and our oncology bodywork specialist. By working together our team at Indigo Physiotherapy reduces your swelling and helps you return to full comfort and enjoyment of your life.
Lymphedema physical therapy is a specialized, non-invasive area of care that focuses on the lymphatic and circulatory systems. Following an extensive evaluation you and your therapist will determine the best combination of treatment options to reduce your symptoms.
Commonly care involves extensive manual lymphatic drainage, fascia release to improve circulation, exercise guidance, self care, risk reduction strategies and long term management. Throughout the plan of care our clients gain confidence in seeing their symptoms improve and have the skills to maintain the improvements long term. Extensive research has shown that skilled lymphedema physical therapy and bodywork improve the lymphatic system to keep lymphedema at bay and people living life to its fullest.
The most common symptoms addressed in our care include:
- Swelling in any area of the body (arm, breast, trunk, armpit etc)
- Tightness with arm movement
- Axillary web syndrome/cording
- Swelling related skin changes
- Cellulitis or skin infection
- Radiation skin injury
- Limited range of motion or movement
Axillary Web Syndrome
Axillary Web Syndrome (AWS), also referred to as “cording,” is a condition in which soft tissue in the armpit, trunk, and/or arm become becomes firm and cord-like after cancer surgery with axillary lymph node removal. Cords form as a result of venous or lymphatic vessel blockage or tightness in the surrounding tissues. Typically, cording feels like a painful pulling or tight sensation in the involved area and limits movement and range of motion of the arm. Cording may not resolve on its own, requiring treatment by a qualified clinician, such as those here at Indigo.
In addition to reducing the cording we provide comprehensive care to improve your movement to ensure you can remain active in your life. Treatment also involves swelling risk reduction, skin care and overall instruction for return to exercise. Indigo also provides oncology focused body work and oncology massage to reduce the side effects of medical treatment enhancing your overall recovery and health.