Resource: Post-Surgery Stretch
Breast Cancer Movement • 15m
For the first 6 weeks post-surgery the focus is usually on range of motion. You will likely have to continue to work on this mobility.
You will probably be learning most of these at the hospital. Get cleared by surgeon to perform these stretches:
-Pendulums - Leaning over with an arm supporting yourself on a counter or not if bilateral mastectomy. Stagger your legs so you can gently shift your weight between your legs and let surgical arm(s) sway side to side and forward/backward. Movement comes from your legs moving, not your arms. This should be gentle.
-Diaphragmatic breathing - Start by lying on your back or sitting with one hand on your stomach and other on your chest.
-Side Lying Muscle Pump - with surgical arm on pillow. Lay on unaffected side or prop on pillows if you had a double mastectomy (perform one side at a time). Squeeze your hand into a fist holding a small ball or wash cloth for 2-3 seconds and then release.
-Shoulder Flexion Using Opposite Arm - Skip this if double mastectomy until cleared to go above 90 degrees. Do not go above shoulder height or 90 degrees if had reconstruction and still have drains in. Use non-surgical arm to help raise surgical arm overhead pain free range with elbow straight
-Opening with Yard Stick or Broom Handle - Do not go above shoulder height or 90 degrees if had reconstruction and still have drains in.
-Side Reach with Yardstick or Broom Handle - Do not go above shoulder height or 90 degrees if had reconstruction and still have drains in.
-Chicken Wing in Supine - Hold off on this if you had a reconstruction.
-Shoulder Circles - Sitting or standing, slowly bring shoulders down and back towards your back pockets making small circles. The goal is opening up your chest, improving blood flow and relaxing the arm(s) you just stretched.
Equipment: yardstick or broomstick, pillows.
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Walking has so many benefits!
-Walking will help recovery
-Increased cardiovascular endurance and health
-Improves heart and lung function and increased oxygen consumption allows for improved healing
-Decreased stress and anxiety. Good for our heads ladies!
-Helps with weight management