Arm and shoulder movement after recovering from male breast cancer
If you are recovering from male breast cancer, exercise isn’t just about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It is also about improving circulation, lymph function and increasing mobility as your body is healing. What is more, according to Cancer.org, exercising regularly can lower recurrence risk of breast cancer too.
Getting the arms and shoulders moving is very important, as this will help you get back to normal daily activities. Exercise can also help combat the symptoms of depression and gives you a feeling of well being. However, do make sure you consult your doctor before undergoing exercise.
Arm and shoulder movement
Recent reports in Medical News Today indicate that “the 5-year survival rate for people with breast cancer is 90%”, which is great news. One important fact to bear in mind, however, is that the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chances are of full recovery. After breast cancer treatment, many patients have reduced arm and shoulder movement. This can be due to a number of things including lymph node and breast biopsy, surgery and reconstruction. Having reduced movement can affect doing simply day-to-day tasks. This might be dressing, brushing your hair and having a bath. According to numerous medical journals, including the Oxford Academic, regular gentle exercises will help to restore movement and also reduce the side effects of treatment. Radiation therapy in particular can limit movement for many months after the end of treatment. It also cuts down the possibility of an arm edema.
Simple breathing exercises
Deep breathing exercises are a key part to improving mobility. You are looking to increase the strength of the diaphragm, increase lung function and in turn improve circulation. Lying on the floor, take 6 slow and deep breaths. Focus on the movement of your abdomen, pushing it out, away from your spine as you breath. Practice this 6 times a day. It will help your lungs to work, moving air around your body. In a study, yoga breathing techniques have been shown to help recovery.
Gentle Arm Lifts
It is important to use your affected arm, as much as you normally would for daily tasks. This will help your arm and shoulder to heal and recover, with natural exercise. You can also do a series of gentle arm lifts (which can progress from your breathing exercises). Lying on your back, simply raise your arm above your heart, so that your fingertips are pointing towards the sky. At first you may only be able to hold your arm in this position for a few minutes, but you can increase this amount of time as you heal. It will help increase the blood flow to your arms and shoulders and reduce any swelling that you may still have.
Even simple exercises are good for getting you back on the road to normal movement. Exercises will help your body to heal and to get on with daily tasks with ease.