Oncology-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders
Treatment for cancer is extremely rough on the body. Patients experience a variety of side effects from radiation and chemotherapy, including fatigue, loss of strength, and bodily aches and pains.
In some cases, patients develop musculoskeletal disorders as a result of their oncology treatments. Musculoskeletal disorders encompass injuries or damage sustained to the nerves, joints, tendons, cartilage, and spinal discs, and cause a person to experience stiffness, pain, difficulty moving, decreased range of motion, and overall impaired function.
Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy in China Grove, Gastonia, Huntersville, Lincolnton, Locust, Mint Hill, Mount Holly, and Charlotte, NC provides extensive physical therapy for patients living with musculoskeletal injuries and/or disorders. If you or a loved one are in discomfort or pain and in need of therapeutic intervention during or after treatments for cancer, contact a clinic for help.
Effects of oncology on the muscular system
Oncology treatments take a serious toll on the human body. This is due to the fact that healthy cells are being damaged in addition to the cancer cells that radiation and chemotherapy are targeting. As a person’s body fights to repair itself, they will experience extreme fatigue and weakness. Their loss of strength puts them at high risk for musculoskeletal disorders.
According to the NIH, “Muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass affects between 15% and 80% of patients with cancer, depending upon tumor type and stage.” The danger here is that bone loss and muscle weakness increases the risk of the patient falling and sustaining a serious injury, such as a break or fracture.
It should also be noted that some drugs used during chemotherapy can damage the nerves that are responsible for sending signals between the nervous system and the arms and legs, a condition known as “peripheral neuropathy.” Patients can develop difficulties when trying to stand, walk, or hold objects because of tingling, numbness, and painful sensations in their arms and legs.
Radiation therapy can also damage blood vessels responsible for keeping your skin, ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, bones and lungs in healthy condition. If this occurs, patients may develop a condition called “radiation fibrosis syndrome.” This can result in pain and spasms in the area targeted by radiation treatment, such as the neck, shoulders, arms, head, legs, etc.
The after effects of oncology treatment can be severe, to say in the least. The good news is that Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy physical therapy can help you to find relief through targeted therapeutic methods.
How can physical therapy help?
Oncology therapy at Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy can help ease pain and discomfort that forms as a result of cancer treatment. Our therapists are skilled and trained movement specialists who recognize the amount of energy and stamina it takes to withstand radiation and chemotherapy, and will do their best to help regain and maintain as much of your muscle strength as possible.
Oncology therapy treatment plans are created to address the specific phase of your cancer treatment, and what your body needs at that time. Treatment plans are geared towards decreasing pain and discomfort, improving physical function, reducing exhaustion/fatigue, and helping you to improve your overall quality of life.
Your China Grove, Gastonia, Huntersville, Lincolnton, Locust, Mint Hill, Mount Holly, and Charlotte, NC physical therapist may elect to use manual therapy treatments to help ease pain, tightness, and discomfort, as well as prescribe gentle stretches for you to do on your own time at home, in order to continue your progress and help you build your strength.
Compleat Rehab & Sports Therapy physical therapists are compassionate and professional individuals whose ultimate goal is to help you find much needed relief as your body fights against cancer. Even if you are still undergoing oncology treatments, rest assured that you can find the help you’re seeking at our clinic.
If you are currently living with cancer or you’ve recently completed the last rounds of your oncology treatment and are dealing with discomfort and pain, physical therapy can help you to create a new sense of normal in your life. Contact our office in China Grove, Gastonia, Huntersville, Lincolnton, Locust, Mint Hill, Mount Holly, or Charlotte, NC today to schedule an appointment.