Physical Therapy and Cancer Related Fatigue

Cancer related fatigue (CRF) is a feeling of extreme tiredness and is usually accompanied by other symptoms. CRF can be a debilitating condition that interferes with quality of life and can affect your overall health. In fact, cancer related fatigue is the number one complaint of cancer patients, affecting 78% to 96% of individuals undergoing cancer treatment. 

Symptoms of Cancer Related Fatigue include:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Difficulty walking, even short distances
  • Difficult performing daily tasks
  • Difficulty sleeping

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Chesapeake Urology partners with In Balance Physical Therapy to provide patients being treated for urologic cancers, including prostate, kidney and bladder cancers, with the specialized care needed to combat cancer related fatigue. 

Physical therapy can:

  • Address pain, which can alleviate fatigue
  • Use non-drug based treatments such as soft tissue and joint mobilization, TENS and Heat/cold
  • Alleviate musculoskeletal dysfunction
  • Improve posture
  • Help maintain muscle strength and flexibility and restore muscle balance
  • Improve endurance
  • Provide core body strengthening

Studies have shown that exercise reduces cancer related fatigue both during and after cancer treatment. 

About the Physical Therapy Program

Your urologist can refer you to physical therapy if you are experiencing cancer related fatigue during or following treatment. Therapy sessions last about 30 minutes to one hour, two to three days per week. The physical therapy program is concurrent with your cancer treatment schedule and may last through your entire treatment phase. 

You will have a thorough evaluation performed prior to starting a physical therapy program to ensure that your program is tailored to your specific needs and addresses your symtpoms. The physical therapy team works closely with your urologist in developing a plan of care. This team approach has the most benefits for your overall health and well-being. 

Following the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for cancer fatigue, the physical therapy program focuses on:

  • Activity enhancement
  • Maintainenece of an optimal level of activity, and
  • Endurance and resistance exercise

Ask your physician if a physical therapy program is right for you, or call 866-953-3111 to schedule a physical therapy consultation.