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POST MASTECTOMY PHYSIO EXERCISES

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Here is a list of exercises given to me by my breast surgeon in the UK, to do after my (bilateral) mastectomy......

Starting the day after surgery, complete the first 5 exercises. Repeat each one 5x gently, for 7 days.

1) circle shoulders 5x forward and 5x backward

2)place fingertips on shoulders of same side and slowly raise elbows upward until they are in line with the height of your shoulders.repeat 5x (you may not get very high to start with)

3)sit on the edge of a chair,clasp hands with arms out locked in front of you and slowly lift to shoulder height.repeat 5x

4)raise each arm individually as if combing your hair from front to back.repeat 5 times each side(i found this one painful to start with)

5)reach around and walk your fingers up your back.repeat 5x each side.
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From day 7-14, add in exercises 6-9, Repeat each one 5x.

6)stand about 1 foot away from the wall but face it. put both hands on the wall in front of you and slowly walk your fingers up the wall.Mark where you get to so you can copare daily.repeat 5x

7)stand so the wall is to your side.place fingers on the wall and slowly walk your fingers up the wall as in (6).repeat 5x each side.

8) lay on the bed with kness drawn up and feet flat.Put your hands behind your head and VERY gently let your arms drop as far as they will go.Repeat 5 times,(this also hurt alot but it does get easier!)

9) hold a towel diagonally behind your back and see-saw it up and down in a drying action.

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From day 14-21,add in the rest of the exercises,repeat each one 5x

10)lay on your back with enough head room to lift both arms upward and over your head as far as you can.Do 1 arm at a time and assist with the other arm.go as far as you can and hold for 5 seconds.repeat 5x each side.

11)lay on the floor with 1 armout to the side,palm facing up.slide the arm away from you and upward as far as you can hold for 5.repeat other side.

12)stand in a doorway with your elbow and forearm against the frame.face straight forward.feel a firm but comfortable stretch.Then with the opposite leg,step fwd and lunge slightly,feeling the stretch on the chest and underarm.hold for 5 and repeat 5x each side.

13)reach over your headand try and reach down to your shoulder blades.Aim to point your elbow to the ceiling.use the other hand to push a little further.Hold for 5.repeat 5 x

Now there is an arm-swinging exercise recommended for those that had node removal which should be done BEFORE numbers 11,12 and 13.
Place the unaffected arm on the back of a chair and lean fwd resting your forehead on your arm. Allow your other arm to hand loosely and swing the shoulder fwd,backward,side to side and then in a circular motion.ASs the arm relaxes,increase the length of the swings and size of the circles.
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PLEASE REMEMBER I AM NOT A PHYSIOTHERAPIST AND AM JUST RELAYING WHAT I HAVE BEEN TOLD BY MY SURGEON AND THERAPIST.
EACH PERSON WILL DIFFER IN WHAT THEY CAN AND CAN'T DO.
Hope this is of some help to you and anyone else reading this
ps.
these exercises should be repeated 3-4 times daily.I have done my religiously and in 22 days have almost got my full range of movement back already.The only restrictions i have are caused by my expanders

CarrWilson's picture
CarrWilson
Posts: 112
Joined: Feb 2010

Just a bump for the newbies.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4529
Joined: Aug 2009

my doc did not want me to exersize my arm after surgery (implant inserted.) I am post surgery and just started gentle pilates it helped.

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

was that your PS that said that?
The surgeons here (uk) insist that we start that list of Physio the DAY AFTER Mx/BMx. If not,the scar tissue will form and can keep you with permanent limited moevement in the arm/shoulder. The stretching also helps prevent the skin healing down and sticking to anything inside.

I guess each PS is different,but i started my exercises the day after surgery and do them 3 times a day and i have my full range of movement back.
I know you have to take it a little easier if you had node removal.

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

This is great for the newbies. Thanks Mstar!

Dawne.Hope's picture
Dawne.Hope
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bumping up for genie

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Also,if you go to my 'about me' page and click on my 'expressions', there should still be the photo's on there showing how to do each exercise (foto's out the book,not of me doing it! lol)

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
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Joined: Aug 2009

Bumping as someone was asking about this post. Thanks for it Mstar!

Sue :)

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Bumping this thread for any newbies =)

SamuraiMom's picture
SamuraiMom
Posts: 296
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi MStar!

Would you be willing to post this on my website? Let me know.

Your fan,

SamuraiMom

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

I am so grateful to have full movement in both my arms with little lympnodema and I swear it is due to doing exercises faithfully from the moment I woke up out of surgery. I continued to do more and in a month I was washing walls and painting remembering that kid that that did the wax on and wax off from a movie. Now a days your leg is in a machine when u wake up already moving after knee surgery so it cannot be bad. Sooner the better and I actually needed little physio.
Great information to have at our finger tips thanks
Tara

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Tara
I totally agree. I don't understand though how some PS's dont even tell patients about doing PT exercises to regain mobility!

The sooner you start,the better.And it has to be kept up . I rarely do any now as my range of movement is 100% and has been for some time. I just stretch for 48 hours after a fill cus this helps it to stretch the skin quicker and it relieves that awful presssure and tightness you get after a fill.

Ha ha ~yes, Karate Kid movie! wax on-wax off! its funnt cus i mentioned this to my hubby in the first weeks after surgery! Thats what it felt like i was doing!

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Yes of course you can post this on your website! Knock yourself out! (not literally of course!=D)

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

bumping for any newcomers

xxxx

cahjah75's picture
cahjah75
Posts: 2623
Joined: Jun 2010

My surgeon already told me he would have someone help me start raising my arms the day after surgery. I already have limited shoulder movement. No left humeral head and reverse total shoulder in the right arm. Having double mastectomy next Tuesday and bum shoulders is a bit scary. I don't want to lose what little range of motion I have now. I will definitely be asking about PT.

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

wonder if you can get a thread pinned to the top??

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

bumping

Sally5
Posts: 86
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks so much for the helpful info. I've been only on for two days but I have found your insight so helpful.
I also found Michele's site - Courage is my strength. Thanks to you I found her site.

Take care

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Sally =)

Glad you found my stuff helpful! Michele's site is really taking off now! We dont keep in touch as much now as she is SOOOOOO busy,but thats fine,i know she cares and she has done(and is doing)so much good.

I 'advertised'her site in every way i could and on every website im a member of.It certainly paid off. Did you take a look at her youtube vid's? Mine are on youtube also (username: jkkj12).

This is also a great site,as it breastcancer.org. Lots of lovely,caring,helpful people =)

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

That is a good site too M-star, breastcancer.org. I have been there too and posted. Lots, and, I mean lots of information.

Hugs, Leeza

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

bumping

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

bumping

Heatherbelle's picture
Heatherbelle
Posts: 1224
Joined: Jun 2010

Thank you for bumping this for me!! I so appreciate it :)
Heather

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

These are great mstar! Several women are having their surgeries this week and this will help!

cahjah75's picture
cahjah75
Posts: 2623
Joined: Jun 2010

thanks for posting the exercises. Several of them are ones I did following shoulder surgeries. I spent months at pt and am now able to raise right arm but not the left. By following the simple exercises you have posted most should have no problems with range of motion. I still do these exercises and I think that's why I was able to raise my one good arm after surgery.
Char

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

heather,kylez and char~~ you're welcome! =)

Cant stress enough how important these exercises are after your surgery,and the sooner you can start them the better.

xxx

alexlib_mom's picture
alexlib_mom
Posts: 46
Joined: Mar 2010

I have some PT exercises to do, but this list adds some new ones. My doctor told me to do them every day starting the first day after surgery in order to get range of motion back. His view also is that if you can't reach above your head within two weeks after surgery, you should go for PT appointments so as not to get behind.

Just had mastectomy 8 days ago and can almost reach over my head! Thanks for moving this up the list so that I saw it.

Stephanie

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Stephanie~
you're welcome.

i was told pretty much the same thing. I saw a PT nurse in the first week after surgery to make sure i was doing the exercises correctly.Then again after 2 weeks and because i couldn't reach my arms up above my head(bringing them straight out in front of you and raising them) i had to go to about 3 PT appointments and they would not sign me off until i could do it.

I could do all the other exercises quite easily and in a quickish time post-op, but not the lifting above my head.

I t didn't take long though.
One of the exercises i found worked really well, was the door stretch. I could really feel it pulling but the relief i felt after was brill! This one i did after all my expansions too as it stretched across my pec/boob.

The other really good one (but difficult) was the laying on the bed/floor with your hands behind your head and trying to push your elbows down to the bed. That hurt. I didn't think i'd ever be able to do that one but i pushed myself.

I do think you need to push yourself to an extent.Not so you're in agony,but you need to feel a pull then hold it.

i've heard of women being told by their PS that they should not do any kind of stretching for the first few weeks after MX!!! How crazy is that!! That can only lead to cording and long term motion problems

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Bumping

bakerette
Posts: 75
Joined: Jun 2010

Thanks for posting these little exercises. I will do them faithfully. Why didn't my doctors tell me?

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

I really have no idea. I guess all doctors have different ideas but those here in the UK INSIST on starting them the day after surgery. There is an exercise specifically for those who had nodes removed also.

Just start easy and be careful-but as you get better,push yourself a little. Just don't hurt yourself! Be guided by your own body and listen to it. You may find some harder to do than others.

I found some really quite painful to start with and i could not get very far with them but i persevered and got my full range of movement back very quickly. I have heard women who WERE NOT given PT exercises to do that struggled for a long time with their range of movement and shoulder pain.

Wishing you well and hope they help you =)

Menda
Posts: 128
Joined: Jun 2010

Bump

Dawne.Hope's picture
Dawne.Hope
Posts: 820
Joined: Sep 2009

For Jennifer 1961

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

Just saw this post and hope that you are doing well M-star!

Hugs, Kylez

m-star's picture
m-star
Posts: 444
Joined: Apr 2010

Hiya Kylez!

yes im doing ok thanks =)

Had my exchange surgery (gummys)on 26th Oct. All went well but im having asymmetry issues.But i've been told its still early days yet.Not very happy with the size but thats as big as they were able to go =(((((
Went back to work last Thursday! its good to be back!

I hope all you ladies are doing well.You are all in my thoughts,even though i dont get on here as pften as i would like.

Much love,
Kay xxxx

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

Bumping up for newbies.

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