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4600 Greenville Ave, Suite 143B
Dallas, TX 75206

Questions? Call us: 214-773-2837

Breast Cancer Rehab

 

Are you tired of not being able to brush your own hair? Are you being treated for breast cancer?  Are you experiencing pain, reduced range of motion, lymphedema, Axillary web syndrome (also known as cording) and sometimes frozen shoulder?

I understand the effects of surgery and radiation on the tissue and how to mobilize it to restore healthy function to the fascia and musculoskeletal system. We are mindful that the lymphatic system has likely been compromised due to node removal during surgery or lymph vessels damaged during radiation, therefore, all work is gentle.

I get it… I understand:

  • the effects of mastectomy surgery
  • the effects of radiation therapy, both acute and long-term
  • the emotional trauma that can be held in tissues
  • the effects of scar tissue from surgery and radiation
  • the anatomy and function of the lymphatic system
  • how to provide manual lymphatic drainage techniques
  • how to provide scar tissue mobilization to areas treated with surgery and radiation
  • how to provide corrective massage techniques to treated and surrounding soft tissue area

I am here to help clients with cancer and cancer histories cope with the side-effects of treatment.  Through education, gentle manual therapies, exercise suggestions and emotional support I strive to empower clients to maintain and improve their quality of life during and following breast cancer treatment. I specialize in providing gentle manual therapies and scar tissue release in a less demanding way.

What you can expect:

  • A session in which YOU are in complete control
  • An effective session without pain
  • Shorter, non-aggressive approach to the affected area
  • Stress reduction and complete relaxation
  • A therapist who understands a compromised lymphatic system

Why I can help:

  • I understand the effects of cancer treatment on the body and lymphatic system
  • I have the necessary training – and then more training – from experts in the field of oncology massage and breast cancer rehab
  • I have years of experience in the field of oncology massage and manual lymphatic drainage
  • My work allows the body to rest and heal
  • I know how to establish a nurturing relationship of trust

What I do:

  • Assist those with lymphedema and those at risk for developing lymphedema with Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) treatments. We are trained in the Vodder Technique – the most recognized and widely used technique
  • Assist those who have developed Axillary Web Syndrome (cording) following lymph node dissection
  • Address complex shoulder movement and soft tissue disorders while improving comfort and function during and following reconstruction
  • Address fatigue and weakness during and after chemotherapy
  • We understand the effects of External Beam Radiation

Conditions for which I can help:

Lymphedema

  • Swelling of the arm, breast, chest wall or trunk often results from lymphatic disruption in the axilla. Lymph nodes are often removed during surgery and/or damaged by radiation.

Why does it happen?

  • Lymph nodes are often removed or damaged during breast cancer treatment; specifically surgery and radiation
  • Removal or damage to nodes creates a compromised lymphatic system which can create swelling in the affected arm, trunk and/or breast

How I help:

  • Manual lymphatic drainage (Vodder technique) is used to stimulate the lymphatic system and move fluid into working nodes

Axillary Web Syndrome (Cording)

  • A visible web of axillary skin overlying palpable cords of tissue that are made taut and painful by shoulder action
    • The web is normally present in the axilla and extends into elbow region and occasionally to the base of the thumb
    • Include picture?

Why does it happen?

  • It is proposed that injury might occur during patient positioning during axillary lymph node dissection
  • Lymphatic collectors may be within the surgical field during node removal
  • Lymph stasis (no movement of lymph) occurs after axillary lymph node surgery because of disruption of the normal lymphatic drainage channels

How I help:

Soft tissue mobilization:

  • Warm the tissue using moist heat
  • Decrease adherence in axilla
  • Treat cords directly, if possible – proximally towards distal and then back again
  1. Space correction
  2. Tissue bending
  3. Gentle skin traction of the cording

Difficult shoulder movement, scars and soft tissue disorders

  • Symptoms include:
    • postural changes
    • impaired shoulder function
    • chest/rib/back pain
    • movement compensations
    • increased risk of adhesive capsulitis
    • serratus anterior weakness
    • post mastectomy tissue adhesions

Why does it happen?

  • Breast reconstruction/expanders
  • Axillary dissection affects the lateral part of both the major and minor pectoralis muscles
  • Because the axillary fat is often removed, the skin flaps in the axillary area can adhere to the muscles lining the axilla and to the thoracic wall
  • Guarding – patient protecting the area by forward shoulder and arm position
  • The adherence of muscles, tissue and the skin in the axilla and pectoral area inhibit shoulder movement

How I help:

  • We use various soft-tissue mobilization techniques to break-up adhesions allowing tissue to move more freely which allows for better range of motion
    • Soft-tissue mobilization is a manual technique that moves scars and tissue encouraging it to become softer and more pliable. When the tissue moves easier, it allows better movement of arms and better range of motion of shoulders
  • Radiation is often prescribed within 6-weeks of surgery. These techniques help prepare the shoulder to be in the necessary position for radiation

Address fatigue and weakness during and after chemotherapy

  • Symptoms include:
    • Fatigue due to chemotherapy
    • Inability to perform regular tasks such as work, preparing meals, attending children’s activities, etc.

Why does it happen?

  • Chemo induced fatigue is fatigue like no other
  • Rest and sleep often do not phase it

How I help:

  • Peaceful and serene environment in our massage clinic encourages rest
  • Gentle massage strokes allow the body to rest and heal
  • Healing requires a state of rest
  • My goal is to build the body back up; not put more demand on it with a heavy-handed massage

Effects of External Beam Radiation

Symptoms include:

  • Inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Radiation Fibrosis Syndrome (tissue adherence) in radiated field
  • Can result in lack of mobility in cervical spine, thoracic spine and ribs

 How I help:

  • Address joint stiffness through joint mobilization and gentle range of motion
  • MLD to address breast, trunk and arm inflammation

Education:

  • Provide client with written info about LE risk and prevention from the National Lymphedema Network

30-min session-$60

60-min session-$90

90-min session-$130

120-min session $160

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