Cancer begins as a localized phenomenon. Yet from your immunity to your musculoskeletal system, it impacts the entire body in many ways. Depending on your specific cancer diagnosis and treatment, you may benefit from physical therapy. As you search “physical therapy near me,” this guide can help you understand how therapy aids in your recovery and what to look for in a physical therapist.
Reasons Why You Might Need Physical Therapy
Like many people, you may think of physical therapy as mostly benefiting muscles and bones. Cancer affects a wide range of bodily tissues, even those beyond its localized area. Treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy can reduce functioning by depleting muscle mass or damaging the nerves. With this in mind, physical therapy offers several important advantages:
- Improving balance and mobility
- Reducing numbness and tingling
- Strengthening muscles and bones
- Relieve pain and discomfort
Physical therapy can also encourage healing from radiation fibrosis, which is tissue damage caused by repeated radiation treatments.
Meanwhile, physical therapy also improves your mental wellness. Studies have shown that exercise causes the brain to release endorphins and serotonin — “feel good” chemicals that stabilize your mood, diminish pain, and relieve stress. Together, these also mitigate depression and anxiety that can accompany a cancer diagnosis.
How To Find The Right PT For You
Each physical therapist offers a unique approach to treatment and rehabilitation. To get the most out of your recovery, it’s important to choose a provider that best meets your needs. While searching for Bellevue physical therapy practices, you’ll want to assess their ability to support your recovery. That means looking at several important factors for each provider:
- Licensing and accreditations
- Overall expertise
- Treatment specializations
- Quality of therapy facilities
Physical therapy requires investing your time and effort, but you must also consider your financial abilities. Many physical therapy providers accept Medicare and Medicaid, along with major health insurance plans. Check your available coverage, required copays, deductibles, and other key information in your plan literature or contact your insurer to confirm benefits.
Working With Your Therapist
Physical therapists craft individualized rehabilitation plans for each of their clients. Your provider for physical therapy Seattle will assess your condition before treatment begins. A therapist typically examines your medical records, including data from your recent treatments. This professional evaluates you by having you perform movements as you’re able, such as walking, skipping, and jogging. The therapist will also ask you about your symptoms — issues such as pain, soreness, stiffness, weakness, and coordination.
Once your therapist has completed this evaluation, they will develop a personalized plan for you. This plan incorporates specific exercises you perform during your sessions with your therapist and at home by yourself. Your therapist evaluates your progress during treatment and can adjust the plan as needed.
A Whole-Body Approach
Just as cancer affects the entire body, your treatment and rehabilitation plan should be holistic as well. A whole-body approach may include physical therapy to regain muscular strength, overall nerve functioning, and coordination. Understanding your condition, following a sound treatment plan, and working with experienced therapists are key to achieving your best possible outcomes.