The physical effects of cancer and its treatments can cause short- and long-term side effects, which need tailored, specialised care.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD)
Lymphoedema is a chronic swelling, which occurs when lymph fluid does not drain away from tissues beneath the skin. It may develop after surgery or radiotherapy to treat cancer and can occur at the time of treatment or much later on.
The swelling, which can develop in any part of the body but usually presents in a limb, can be painful and debilitating, affecting freedom of movement, confidence and how clothes are worn.
Easing lymphoedema is possible through manual lymphatic drainage. The treatment employs gentle, specialised massage, which moves the excess fluid to an area of the body where the lymph system is functioning and where the fluid will drain away.
The therapy is designed to improve the overall functioning of the lymphatic system and can be enhanced by wearing bandages or a sleeve to help maintain the effectiveness of the treatment.
Physiotherapy is used at Chai to help restore as much functional use of a client’s body when it has been affected by illness, disability or injury.
Treatment plans are tailored to the client’s individual needs and may use techniques such as massage, joint mobilisation and stretching to alleviate pain and stiffness, and improve blood flow to injured areas of the body. In addition to treating muscle pain and problems that affect the joints, physiotherapy can help deal with the symptoms of breathlessness, pain, fatigue and anxiety.
Physiotherapy is suitable for clients who have already finished treatment as well as those undergoing chemo- or radiotherapy. Treatment begins with an examination and assessment in order to develop a personalised physical programme with advice on managing the specific issues the client presents.
Post-Prostate Surgery Advice
Many people have incontinence at some time in their lives. Most common is stress incontinence when the bladder leaks under pressure, perhaps with a cough or a sneeze, or during strenuous activity. It becomes more common as people get older.
Urinary incontinence (leakage of urine) is common in men after both radical prostatectomy and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP).
Physiotherapy is important element in helping to improve incontinence for non-surgical and post-operative clients through exercises, which strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. They may also be useful in conjunction with a training programme aimed at improving bladder control in people who experience the urgent need to pass urine frequently.
For men previously given information on these exercises, supervision and support is available with a physiotherapist to help improve their effectiveness.