For patients who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, physiotherapy can be an important component to promote overall wellness and improve quality of life before, during, and after treatment. Physiotherapy can help manage the physical side effects of cancer treatments, improve functional abilities, and reduce pain and discomfort. While your physiotherapist may not be the first care provider on your list to call upon a cancer diagnosis, below we explore the benefits of physiotherapy for colorectal cancer patients, common techniques used in treatment, and how it works to promote recovery and improve health outcomes.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer are cancers that affect both the colon and rectum. Signs and symptoms can include abdominal pain, blood in the stool, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and change in bowel habits. As with every cancer, there are known risk factors to colorectal cancers. Being older in age, male, smoking, having a family history of the disease, certain types of diets, and some medical conditions are considered risk factors for colorectal cancer. It is important to not only pay attention to your body for these signs, but staying on top of the latest screening tests available for colorectal cancer as it will help ensure an early diagnosis. Colorectal cancers can be staged by your health care provider according to TNM (tumour, lymph node, metastasis) or Stages 0-4. The earlier the diagnosis the better the treatment options which include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
Physiotherapy can be an important component of care.
We know that cancer treatment leaves patients feeling exhausted and weak – leaving them feeling like the simplest of tasks are insurmountable. Just getting out bed in the morning or making a phone call can take all their energy and strength let alone maintaining an active lifestyle with movement and exercise. However, we also know that moving those muscles to maintain mass and strength is crucial on the road to recovery both during and after cancer treatments. This is why we believe adding in physiotherapy as a component of cancer care is extremely beneficial.
How can we help?
At 121, our team of physiotherapist have experience in treating patients who are currently or have recently undergone treatments for colorectal cancer. Here is a list of ways we believe we can be helpful in your cancer journey:
- Through patient education which very important at all stages of the cancer journey
- Treating areas of pain and discomfort around the surgical site or in joints
- Treating joint stiffness and muscle tightness around hips or core
- Assist with a patient's overall deconditioning and muscle imbalances in the areas of the core, shoulder blade, spine, and ribs. We know this can tremendously impact activities of daily life
- Teach breathing exercises for better core control
- Assess neural function and determine if motor and/or sensory nerves are affected
- Help with some of the common side effects of treatments like fatigue
- Support with incision management if needed
- Work on balance and proper gait, especially where supervision is essential
Physiotherapy is a valuable addition to colorectal cancer care that has many benefits for patients. From reducing pain and discomfort to improving mobility and physical function, physiotherapy can be an essential component in promoting overall wellness and a high quality of life.
Physiotherapy care can happen before, during, or after your colorectal cancer treatment. Any of the physiotherapists at 121 can work with you to develop a personalized plan that meets your unique needs and goals. By incorporating physiotherapy into your cancer care, you can take control of your health and improve your chances of a successful recovery.
Contact us today at (902) 425-3775