By Tara Hagan-Fields RMT, Women’s Health Specialist and Expert Myofascial Release Therapist.
Pain and tightness suffered post mastectomy/lumpectomy can limit one’s life drastically. Myofascial Release can help create vast changes by softening dense scars and fibrosed fascia that are unchanged with traditional therapy and stretching.
Traumatized tissue can have a cascading effect on the body. Locally, tightened and fibrous fascia can restrict blood flow and lymphatic flow, this can result in lymphedema. Auxiliary cording can occur, causing a significant loss of range of motion in the shoulder, resulting in a loss of function. Pain and weakness can occur in the shoulder, arm and chest wall. Burning, pins and needles, numbness or spasms can also occur in these areas.
Tightness, with time, can start to effect areas not associated with the scar. Areas far removed from the local site may be impacted. Symptoms not “normal” to mastectomy, lumpectomy, reconstruction or augmentation can start to occur. Headaches, jaw pain, low back pain, pelvic pain, digestive issues, postural changes, hormonal imbalances, etc., may become a “common” occurrence for you.
The inability to move, or the pain suffered with common range of motion and activity can become debilitating. This might happen immediately, or it might occur 6 years down the road. In real life it might look like, the inability to wash your hair in the shower, get dressed in the morning, pick your child up out of the crib, hug a loved one, carry your groceries, drive your car, work at your computer, reach up and grab the sugar out of the cupboard. No matter the role you have as a woman: mom, worker, grandma: your life is impacted.
Pain management and rehabilitation using Myofascial Release can help. Gentle and slow work done at the fascial barrier (on the scar and surrounding areas) can assist in restoring functional patterns by decreasing the restrictions.
Whether you had surgery, chemo or radiation last month, or 10 years ago, Myofascial Release should be added to your recovery process.
Tara Hagan-Fields is an RMT with Fascial Connections Myofascial Release & Wellness Centre. Tara is a Women’s Health Specialist and Expert Myofascial Release Therapist. She focuses on the body as a whole and teaches you to do the same. More about Tara here.