Breast cancer is one of the common malignant tumors that seriously endanger women’s health and mental health. At present, surgical treatment still occupies an important position in the comprehensive treatment of breast cancer. With the advancement and improvement of the medical level, although the surgical method is continuously improved and perfected, it will still cause greater trauma to the body. Common postoperative complications such as limited shoulder joint movement and lymphedema of the affected upper limb, etc. It is still a big problem that plagues the majority of patients. Therefore, after breast cancer surgery, in order to better promote recovery and prevent complications, rehabilitation exercises must be done.
Be wary of postoperative breast cancer syndrome
After breast cancer surgery, especially after radical mastectomy, patients will not only feel inferior due to organ loss, 60%-80% of patients may also experience abnormal chest wall paresthesia on the affected side within 3 months to 3 years after surgery. Postoperative complications such as limb dysfunction and upper limb lymphedema are collectively referred to clinically as “breast cancer postoperative syndrome”, which directly affect normal life.
Chest wall tingling and burning sensation: Because of the surgical removal of the subcutaneous glands, the sensory nerves of the front chest skin on the affected side will be damaged to varying degrees, and chest wall paresthesias may occur. Some may be chest wall tingling, and some may be burning and numb. Feeling, tightness, and some even have the sensation of ants crawling.
Restriction of movement of the shoulder joint: After radical mastectomy, the movement of the shoulder joint is reduced due to scar contracture, coupled with the pain caused by the fear of exercise, the function of the affected upper limb may be impaired, resulting in the inability to comb hair, dress, and raise hands.
Lymphedema of the upper extremity of the affected side: After axillary lymph node dissection of breast cancer, lymphedema of the upper extremity is easily caused due to the obstruction of the lymphatic and blood return of the upper extremity.
The sooner the rehabilitation exercise, the better
In order to prevent the occurrence of the above-mentioned complications, postoperative functional exercise for breast cancer patients is best to start when the scar tissue at the underarm incision has not yet formed. Otherwise, the scar tissue shrinks, which will affect the movement of the shoulder joint, and then exercise again, the effect is not ideal. Usually, 6 hours after the operation, the patient can adopt a semi-sitting or semi-recumbent position. At this time, in order to prevent the abduction of the upper arm, keep the shoulder joint in the adduction position; the forearm and elbow can be performed 1 to 2 days after the operation. Joint flexion and extension exercises; 3 to 4 days after the operation, the upper limb forearm can be slightly swayed back and forth, left and right, and up and down. You should insist on doing 3 to 5 times a day; on the 5th day after the operation, you can remove the chest strap. Practice a straight movement that raises the arms and exceeds the position of the head.
Enhance the mobility of the shoulder joint
Because part of the chest muscles, fascia and skin were removed during the operation, the movement of the shoulder joints on the operated side would be restricted. Enhancing shoulder joint activity after surgery can increase muscle strength, loosen and prevent adhesions, and restore the maximum range of motion of the shoulder joint. The commonly used methods are as follows:
Abduction exercise: make fists with both hands, and perform horizontal abduction with the upper limbs facing outwards. After repeated repetitions, cross the fingers of both hands and vibrate the elbows outwards. In this process, we must pay attention to the same height of the two elbows.
Shoulder rotation: sitting or standing, the upper limbs naturally hang down on both sides of the body, shoulders forward to do chest exercises, then both shoulders are shrugged up at the same time, and then both shoulders are moved backwards at the same time to clamp the back, and feel the chest is stretched , Keep breathing deeply, and finally put your shoulders down to complete the front-up-back-down rotation exercises of the shoulders, 10 times/group. After doing this, complete the shoulder back-up-front-down exercises in reverse, 10 times/group.
Rotating movement: First, the upper limb of the affected limb is naturally drooped, and the fingers are straightened together. Gradually raise the affected limb from the front of the body to the highest point, and then gradually return to the original position from the outside of the body. Note that the upper limbs should be as straight as possible to avoid bending, the movements should be coherent, and you can also exercise from the opposite direction.
Arm climbing the wall: Prepare two convenient stickers in advance, stand and face the wall, first use the uninhibited arm to move up to the maximum range of the joints, use one sticker as the final goal of the exercise; then use both fingers to move up on the wall at the same time Crawl, the height from low to high, and return to the starting point every certain distance of crawling; after completing the target number of times, stick another sticker on the wall as the result of this exercise to observe the progress, 10 times per group. You can also stand on the affected side close to the wall, and use the same method to complete the lateral wall climbing exercises. Pay attention to keeping your body upright, not tilting, 10 times per group.