Melissa Matta Physical Therapy and Pilates

Breast Cancer, Phsyical Therapy and Pilates

Why Physical Therapy for Breast Care?

I believe physical therapy is a key component of a woman's treatment program.  It is important for women to feel a sense of empowerment over their physical recovery.  I take a unique approach to treatment that follows the patient throughout their breast cancer treatments and combines orthopedic based therapy with specific scar release techniques.  My program also addresses cancer related fatigue and weakness, balance deficits, core weakness, range of motion and lymphedema.  

Breast surgeries and cancer treatments can cause scar tissue adhesions, mucle/ joint restrictions and nerve tension leading to loss of skin elasticity, decreased range of motion and pain.  The post-surgical period can also cause decreased strength and endurance.  Physical therapy plays an integral role in normalizing the soft tissue mobility, normalizing joint mechanics, reducing edema and restoring overall strength and function.  

I provide specialized manual therapy techniques to improve scar tissue mobility at the breast, axilla, shoulder girdle, cervical/ thoracic spine and trunk.  The goal is to start 2-4 weeks after the initial breast surgery to have the most benefit on reducing scar tissue and improving range of motion.  The treatments continue throughout the breast expander phase and post-implant phase in order to create optimal tissue mobility.  It is also important to create good tissue elasticity before radiation therapy begins.  

Throughout the program we can also combine Pilates strengthening to address range of motion deficits, improve general endurance, core strength and overall body strength.  The breathing techniques used in Pilates are also important for rib cage and trunk expansion as well as improving Lymphatic flow.