Has anyone around you developed breast cancer? And has also undergone surgical treatment like breast reconstruction, lymph node removal, mastectomy, breast reconstruction, etc. If yes, then no matter what type of surgery the person has undergone, it's important to do exercises after the surgical intervention. After surgery pain and stiffness can cause weakness and the inability of the arm and shoulder to move. Therefore to maintain mobility and strength, exercises should be included in the treatment plan. Regular exercise not only reduces fatigue but also promotes muscle mass and strength, leading to an overall improvement in physical and mental well-being. By positively influencing mood and enhancing the quality of life, exercise serves as a powerful tool to achieve optimal health and happiness. There is growing evidence about the benefits of physiotherapy for breast cancer patients. Physiotherapy interventions empower patients to do their daily activities, like dressing, combing hair, and bathing. Today in this blog, we will provide a few exercises which can be done after breast cancer surgery.

Benefits of Physiotherapy
There is a wide range of issues that can occur after breast cancer and can be successfully treated by physiotherapy.
Helps in the management of lymphedema by exercising.
Helps to decrease bone loss by maximizing bone integrity.
Helps to improve musculoskeletal dysfunction by increasing the shoulder range of motion.
Helps to manage fatigue by designing a graduated exercise program to increase strength and energy levels.
Helps to decrease pain through exercise prescription and acupuncture.

Exercises
Exercises help to decrease the side effects of surgery and also helps to get back to the usual activities.

Wand Exercise

  1. Hold a stick-like object to use as the wand in this exercise.
  2. Lie on the floor on the back with knees bent and feet flat.
  3. Hold the wand across the belly in both hands with the palms facing up.
  4. Lift the wand over the head as far as you can. Use the unaffected arm to help lift the wand until a stretch is felt in the affected arm.
  5. Hold for 5 seconds.
  6. Bring the arm to the starting position and repeat 5 to 10 times.
Elbow Winging
  1. Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Clasp the hands behind the neck with the elbows pointing toward the ceiling.
  3. Move the elbows apart and then down towards the floor.
  4. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Shoulder Blade Stretch 
  1. Sit in a chair close to the table with the back against the back of the chair.
  2. Place the unaffected arm on the table with the palm facing down and the elbow bent. Do not move the arm during the exercise.
  3. Place the affected arm on the table with the palm facing down, and the elbow straight.
  4. Without moving the trunk, slide the affected arm forward, toward the opposite side of the table, and feel the shoulder blade moving while doing so.
  5. Bring the arm to the starting position and repeat 5 to 10 times.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
  1. Sit in a chair with a mirror in front, without resting against the back of the chair.
  2. Arms by the sides with elbows bent.
  3. Squeeze the shoulder blades together, and bring the elbows behind toward the spine.
  4. Elbows move along but don't force the motion of the elbows. Keep the shoulders level and do not lift them towards the ears.
  5. Bring the arm to the starting position and repeat 5 to 10 times.
Side Bends
  1. Sit in a chair with hands clasped together in front. Lift the arms slowly over the head and straighten the arms.
  2. While the arms are overhead, bend the trunk to right and keep the arms overhead.
  3. Bring the arm to the starting position and bend to the left.
  4. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
Chest Wall Stretch
  1. Stand with your face towards a corner, toes about 8 to 10 inches away from the corner.
  2. Bend the elbows and place the forearms, one on each side of the corner on the wall. Elbows should be close to shoulder height.
  3.  Arms and feet should be in place. Move the chest towards the corner and feel the stretch across the chest and shoulders.
  4. Bring the arm to the starting position and repeat 5 to 10 times.
Shoulder Stretch
  1. Stand with your face towards the wall with toes about 8 to 10 inches from the wall.
  2. Place the hands on the wall and use your fingers to climb the wall and reach as high as possible till a stretch is felt.
  3. Bring the arm to the starting position and repeat 5 to 10 times.
Seated Lateral Raise
  1. Sit in a chair, with arms by the sides.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand,
  3. With elbows slightly bent lift the arms to the height of the shoulder.
  4. Bring the arm to the starting position and repeat 10 times.
Seated Biceps Curl
  1. Sit in a chair, holding a dumbbell in hand.
  2. Bring the hand towards the shoulder by bending the elbow.
  3. Bring the hand back to the starting position and repeat 10 times.
Pendulum
  1. Bend forward at the waist, with the unaffected arm supported on a chair, and let the affected arm hang towards the floor.
  2. Make small circles with the affected hand, and let the momentum move the arm around effortlessly.
  3. Make 10 circles clockwise and 10 circles counterclockwise.
Physiotherapy has been observed to improve the functionality of breast cancer patients and thus improve their quality of life.