Staying mobile after surgery
Staying mobile with gentle exercise after surgery will help you reduce the risk of post-operative complications. It can also help you to recover during the first three months following surgery.
Why exercise is important after surgery
After surgery your wound and surrounding tissues will need time to heal. During this time, many women are unsure about how much exercise they should have.
While it’s normal to feel discomfort and muscle tension after surgery, it’s important that you don’t let that prevent you from engaging in gentle exercise. Once your wounds have healed, and the swelling has reduced, don’t be afraid to move. In fact, gentle and graduated exercises in the early days following an operation can help you minimise complications such as shoulder, neck and chest pain.
Strengthen Your Recovery, a Pilates program following breast cancer surgery
The Strengthen Your Recovery program is especially designed to support your recovery in the 10 weeks following your breast cancer surgery. The graded program is presented on a DVD. It offers easy-to-follow, gentle Pilates exercises and instructions on regaining strength and easing discomfort.
The exercise program is carefully structured around three phases of recovery after surgery. The DVD is accompanied by an 8-page booklet containing important information and guidelines. The Strengthen Your Recovery program assists by:
- Helping relieving neck, shoulder and back pain which can be common after breast cancer surgery
- Promoting drainage of lymph fluids to reduce the risk of lymphoedema
- Restoring normal posture and movement after surgery
- Improving flexibility, strength, confidence and wellbeing.
The program has been developed by BCNA with a breast cancer survivor and qualified Pilates instructor. We have also drawn on the expertise of a specialist physiotherapist to guide the development of the program.
Strengthen Your Recovery has been funded through a generous donation by The Estee Lauder Companies.
Order the Strengthen Your Recovery DVD
The Strengthen Your Recovery DVD is included in the My Care Kit. If you did not receive a My Care Kit, but would like a copy of the DVD, please phone BCNA on 1800 500 258 or you can order online.
- Our Health and wellbeing section has tips for staying active after breast cancer surgery.
- If you are beyond the initial 10-week post-surgical timeframe, but are interested in accessing clinical Pilates, you may wish to contact the Australian Physiotherapy Association, where you can ‘Find a Physio’. You will need to select, ‘Clinical Pilates’ under the category ‘Other areas of interest’.
- If you are looking for a physiotherapist who is also a lymphoedema therapist visit the Australasian Lymphology Association's Find a Practitioner webpage.