Health + Wellness

Stretches to Help With Recovery After Breast Cancer Surgery


breast cancer surgery

If you’ve recently had radiation therapy after surgery you can probably tell things might get a little stiff. Even after time has passed, you may still run into a few issues with your treatment. It’s important to regularly exercise your arm and shoulder after radiation treatment for breast cancer. Before you begin any exercises, consult with your primary physician so you both can discuss the proper workouts. Chances are your doctor will point you to a certified physical therapist or a cancer exercise specialist. These healthcare professionals are trained specifically to design a plan just for you! After not being able to fully use your arm for a month, this is a great opportunity to get you back to full health! Although these exercises can help, some of them shouldn’t be done until stitches are removed. Here are some common exercises that women can do after breast cancer surgery. 

Wand Exercise

This exercise is what helps your ability to move your shoulders forward. You can grab a random handle of a mop, broom, or yardstick for this exercise. This exercise can be done on the bed or floor while lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. The instructions are below! 

  • Hold the wand across your belly in both hands with your palms facing up.
  • Lift the wand over your head as far as you can. Use your unaffected arm to help lift the wand until you feel a stretch in your affected arm.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Lower arms and repeat 5 to 7 times.

RELATED: These 7 Exercises Will Help Ease Your Pain After Breast Cancer Surgery

Elbow Winging

If you’re looking to increase the mobility in the front of your chest and shoulder, then this is the exercise for you!

Although it may take several weeks of regular exercise to get the full range of motion back after breast cancer surgery, this will certainly help!

This exercise can be done on the bed or floor as well while lying on your back with flat feet and bent knees. Follow the steps below! 

  • Clasp your hands behind your neck with your elbows pointing toward the ceiling.
  • Move your elbows apart and down toward the bed or floor.
  • Repeat 5 to 7 times.

Shoulder Blade Stretch

After sitting still for a while and going through radiation, your shoulder blades can

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