Muscle tightness is one of the unwelcome, but common, side effects of cancer treatment. If you’ve experienced this, you know how your muscles can feel like rubber balls no matter how much you try to relax. Some people also find they have less range of motion compared to before their treatment. Fortunately, there are many ways to ease this tightness.
Cancer treatment and muscle tightness
Some cancer treatments disrupt the body’s connective tissue, causing muscle knots, adhesions and scarring and a resulting feeling of tightness. These changes in muscle and tissue are often not noticed right away as they can be slow to develop. However, over time, the tightness can become more evident and uncomfortable.
Several soft tissue techniques are proving very effective at relieving muscle tightness caused by cancer treatment and giving patients a wider range of movement in the affected areas. Such therapy and rehabilitation techniques can also help to reduce the amount of soft tissue scarring that sometimes follows cancer treatment. Below are just a few of the techniques we use to relieve muscle and soft tissue tightness:
- Manual therapy: Deep tissue massage to work on tight trigger points and help your muscles and soft tissues to relax.
- Specific stretching supervised: Gentle stretching exercises to eliminate tightness and help to increase range of motion and agility.
- Myofascial release: Gentle, sustained pressure applied to the fascia. This type of therapy is particularly useful in treating pain and tightness that doesn’t show up on standard imaging tests.
- Acupuncture: Used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, acupuncture makes use of very small, sterile needles at key meridian (energy) points in the body to help relieve pain and tightness. The theory behind acupuncture is to restore balance in the body, thereby relieving tension.
- Trigger point dry needling: Similar to acupuncture, but works on the musculoskeletal system. This technique uses very small, sterile needles in myofascial trigger points to relieve and release tight muscles that have been constricted for a long time.
Having tight muscles and soft tissue isn’t something you have to live with as a part of cancer treatment. Let us help you ease those tight spots and get you moving freely once again.
Our goal is for you to get back to doing the things you love, with the best quality of life possible. To learn more about Haley Rehab, or to schedule an initial assessment, call us at 613-422-5061. No referral is required. Contact us today to see how Haley Rehab can help you achieve wellness.