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Physical therapy

rmkbrad
Posts: 177
Joined: Dec 2009

Has anyone gone though phsical therapy after they finished treatment, I have lost just over 90 pounds and I think that now that I am eating solid food I will be able to maintain weight. I have lost so much muscle mass that just standing or walking for over 15 minutes and I get terable back pain. Some friends sugested that maybe I should ask the doc's about physical therapy. Anyway I had some biopsies done a few weeks ago and the one from my esopagus came back benine and the ones from my neck came back as insignificant with no signs of carsanoma. I go back to San Francisco on August 2 for my three month PET scan. Hopping for better result this time.

Brad

dogsrule's picture
dogsrule
Posts: 96
Joined: Apr 2010

After I started to feel better and was active again ( in bed Jan, Feb. and most of March). I went to PT for lower back. Learned some good stretching and streghting excercises. It helped me feel better but I have athritis so there is only so much it will help. Heat for 15 min followed by streching and strenghten excercises. Now I have to go back for a frozen shoulder that the doctor said is probably from all the inactivity.I can only lift my right arm halfway and have very limited mobility.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1518
Joined: Jan 2010

I have the same very limited mobility in my right arm. Left arm can lift straight up, but I can't raise the right arm up above about a 45-degree angle from horizontal. I always suspected nerve damage, as I had a 3 cm lymph node removed from that side. One of my physical therapists also suggested that the scar tissue from the surgery would have the same effect. I'm still working to improve this one. The physical therapist gave me a pulley device (to lock into a closed door) which I can use to boost that arm up with, and try to use my muscles. We discovered that I have a full range of "passive" movement, as the arm can be drawn all the way up. I just don't have any "active" movement up above 45 degrees. It's interesting. I'm optimistic it will improve with time.

Deb

dogsrule's picture
dogsrule
Posts: 96
Joined: Apr 2010

My surgery was on the left side and it's my right shoulder that's the problem. They diagnosed it as adhesive capiulits "frozen shoulder. Doctor wants my therapist to be very agressive. Appearantly the joint has stifened with the inactivity and they need to get it to "lube its self up" again. I go for an evaluation on Monday with the PT and then start the sessions. I'm like you though, optimistic it will improve with therapy and time.
Good luck with your shoulder. I'll let you know how I do. Now if I could only get these hot flashes under contol, it's always somethin.
Jo

fsdman
Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2009

Hi Brad,
I am 1 yr post treatment,NPC. I lost 60 lbs. I started physical therapy and went about 6 times. I found that for my issues ( lost muscle and strength)therapy was nothing more than a very expensive gym. They used 5 lb weights and a rower and a treadmill. They want to know "where is your pain".I dont have any ! They just watch me work out and really offer nothing.I started at home with 10 lb weights and swimming. I may join a gym,but for now I am getting stronger and even saw a muscle I remember pre-cancer. I think,as long as I dont overdo it that I can do without the therapy.Even though ins paid all but $15 per session,I felt it way too expensive at about $150 per hour !Good luck.

Bob

Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

My dad is going this Wednesday for weakness in his legs. The chemo doctor recommended so I am not sure how it will go. The doctor said they would evaluate him and make some suggestions to do at home. He has lost a fair amount of weight but, I can really tell that he has lost muscle mass in his arms. His legs have started getting better with more walking, but it has been so hot in Virginia that nobody has felt like doing anything.

D Lewis's picture
D Lewis
Posts: 1518
Joined: Jan 2010

Brad,

I had my oncologist write out a prescription for physical therapy. I go twice a week, and was originally scheduled for six weeks. Not sure if I'll need more than that. As mentioned elsewhere, a lot of it is just simple exercises to improve flexibility and muscle tone in my neck and shoulders. I can do these exercises at home, now that I know how. What keeps bringing me back is that they do some neck and back traction stretching and massage. Love it. Its very relaxing.

I'm so happy to hear of the good results from your biopsies. I will hold good thoughts for your August 2 three month PET scan. I have my 2 month MRI this coming Thursday (a bit late), and they will schedule my three month PET-CT some time after that.

Deb

stevenl's picture
stevenl
Posts: 587
Joined: Jan 2010

Hey Brad,

When they did my neck dissection they had to "sacrifice" a nerve that went to my right shoulder. And, like Deb I have very limited range and pain in that shoulder. I went to a physical therapist and he gave me things I could do at home to improve. I have to say that progress has been very slow, But it is helping. I also do 10 push-ups, 20 sit-ups,
10 deep knee bends, 10 toe touching, reverse and forward curls with 10# weights and walk 1 mile and run 1 mile on my treadmill every day. So, I think it is a good idea.

Oh yea, congrats on the biopsy results.

Best,
Steve

Scambuster's picture
Scambuster
Posts: 975
Joined: Nov 2009

HI Brad,

As posted here before L-Glutamine Power could be very helpful in rebuilding muscle. It is not an overnight fix so you can and should get on it and stay with it for a good while.

You can only really rebuild muscle by working out (resistance exercise) so the Therapy sounds good and you will need to start slow. I started with walks, then some easy swimming and then Pilates. I am now up to pushups in the morning, light gym sometimes and tough bike rides every weekend and feeling great. I went from 200 to 155, now back to 170. You will most likely not regain the weight you lost. I am OK with that now. Bought new clothes and have my figure from 20 years ago back. Wife is happy ;o) My energy is back with a vengeance too, so it ain't all bad.

You can check my Expressions page for details because I also focused on the nutrition and on rebuilding my immune system which I believe has help me enormously.

Cheers
Scam

Pumakitty's picture
Pumakitty
Posts: 653
Joined: Mar 2010

My dad had his physical therapy appointment today and it went really great. He liked the therapist and was happy with his treatment plan. The therapist told him that with his age (71)that he has a balance problem which is normal, however the treatment has made to problem more of an issue. He will be going twice a week for a month. I think it will help him, becasue he is not one to exercise on his own.

Kathy

friend of Bill
Posts: 87
Joined: Mar 2010

Brad,

I did not have PT (mostly for insurance reasons) but I was very fortunate to participate in a 12 week fitness/rehab program for cancer survivors run by a local hospital/wellness center under the direction of a master's level trained exercise physiologist. I went three times a week and had one-on-one with her weekly. It was so helpful b/c my body was demolished after 14 weeks of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. I'm not a gym guy but it really, really helped me get up off the mat. The key was having a motivator who was familiar with rehab experience, especially with cancer patients. Anything that gets you moving and stronger is wonderful. It helped mentally too. I'm not self-discliplined so the accountability was useful. I joked that she must have been a police academy drop-out but I needed that. Go for it and anything else that is professionally supervised that you can find so that you don't overdo or hurt yourself. You may have to look around. None of my three doctors referred me to this program, the nutritionist did. I have said often that while the doctors definitely saved my life, it was the wellness people, speech therapists, swallowing therapists, nutritionists and counselors who gave me my life back. I am so greatful to them. Biggest surprise is that I stayed on after my 12 weeks was up and continue to work out within my 64 year old limits under the eye of the exercize Nazi.

Vince

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