Physical Therapy during and after cancer treatment can be for preventative, restorative, supportive, or palliative support.
Preventative Phase - designed to minimize and/or prevent further degeneration for the patient at risk for disability. Examples include deconditioning, muscle atrophy, falls, contractures, and postural deficits. Goals are to reduce tension, anxiety, and stress while maintaining mobility, balance, strength, and range of motion.
- Physical Therapy intervention include exercise, relaxation, postural exercises, education, dietary changes.
Restorative Phase – designed to return a patient to their pre-morbid level with little or no residual disabilities. Examples include fatigue, alopecia, depression, range of motion deficits, strength deficits, pain, scar adhesions, balance disorders. Goals are to increase strength, ROM, and endurance. Reduce tension, anxiety, and stress. Decrease pain.
- Physical Therapy intervention includes exercise, gait training, modalities, and manual therapies.
Supportive Phase – designed for the patient with ongoing disease and persistent disabilities. Examples include peripheral neuropathy, cognitive impairment (“chemobrain”), and depression and anxiety. Goals are the same as restorative phase and to improve ability to perform desired tasks such as activities of daily living.
- Physical therapy intervention includes exercise, bracing, gait training, home safety assessment, manual therapy, pain management.
Palliative Phase – designed for the patient with advanced disease where the disabilities cannot be corrected. Examples include peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, ascites, balance deficits, pain, paralysis, GI issues, small bowel obstructions. Goals are to improve and maintain quality of life. Maintain functional mobility, strength, and ROM. Improve ability to perform desired tasks such as ADLs. Emotional support.
- Physical Therapy intervention includes exercise, caregiver education, (re)positioning, ADL training, energy conservation, manual therapy, pain management.
PT360’s oncology rehabilitation program can support patients at any stage of their treatment and help to maximize their overall function and mobility.