Exercise more effective than medication in treating cancer fatigue

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Recent research released and published in ‘JAMA Oncology’ studied four most commonly recommended treatments for cancer-related-fatigue; exercise, psychological, the combination of exercise and psychological, and pharmaceutical.

The results found that exercise (in combination with psychological treatments) reduces cancer-related fatigue during and after cancer treatment. In contrast, pharmaceutical interventions do not improve cancer-related fatigue to the same extent, and clinicians should prescribe exercise as a first-line treatment for cancer-related fatigue. This research puts exercise at the forefront of patient management in relation to cancer related fatigue as opposed to standard pharmacological pathways.

Exercising during chemotherapy can help ease side effects, such as fatigue and nausea, and can help to boost the immune system of those undergoing cancer treatments. Chemotherapy side effects can sometimes make exercising tough, but it’s recommended to try to be as active as possible during treatment. It is essential for exercise programs to be individualised to your treatment status, functional capacity, physical limitations, exercise history and preferences. Accredited Exercise Physiologists can play an integral role in any patient’s recovery.

To make an appointment with one of our Accredited Exercise Physiology team to discuss cancer and exercise program options, and if they are right for you, feel free to book online, email reception@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au or call 07 3310 4969

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Thoracic Mobility

 

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Why Do You Need Thoracic Mobility?
Lack of thoracic mobility forces your body to function in ways it was not designed for. Lack of thoracic mobility also forces your lower back and/or neck and shoulders to compensate. These can increase the risk of injury.

Do You Lack Thoracic Mobility?
Lie with your back on the floor. Place your feet and buttocks flat on the floor. Bring your arms straight overhead (not the side). Keep your elbows locked and don’t hyper-extend your lower back. If you can’t touch the floor with your wrists, you lack thoracic mobility. You can improve it using the recommended exercises.

To assist, try maintaining a good posture by doing the following:

  • Keep your head erect.
  • Lift your chest up from the sternum.
  • Activate the muscles between your shoulder blades, and then release- the trick to this is practice many times a day.
  • Look after your posture at the office; have a good chair with a firm back support.
  • Maintain good posture at the gym. Keeping your chest up on Squats & Deadlifts prevents lower back rounding.  Improving thoracic mobility makes it easier to keep your chest up.

Also, try some of the following exercises and perform them a few times a day:

  1. Shoulder StretchRelease the shoulder blades as you sit or stand, by taking your clasped hands behind your back, extending your head back at the same time. Hold 20 seconds, repeat 5 times.
  2. Back ArchLie face down. Lift your shoulders by drawing your shoulder blades together, hold for 10 seconds, and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
  3. Cobra Stretch with rotation Lie face down. Lift from the waist, and rotate your upper trunk from side to side so that you feel a tight stretch in your back. 10 rotations each way.
  4. Broom – handle stretch & swing – Place a long rod, such as a broom handle, behind your neck, grasp it as shown and rotate your body from side to side, reaching maximum stretch. Perform 10 rotations each way.
  5. Thoracic Foam Roller – Lie back on the floor. Put the foam roller under your thoracic spine. Hug yourself so your shoulder blades shift to the side or stretch your arms above your head. Place your feet and buttocks flat on the floor. Roll back & forth. Stay away from your neck and lower back. Continue for 5 minutes, but take a break when needed. Your goal is to “arch” your thoracic spine. Try to wrap your upper-back around the foam roller. You alternatively can use two tennis balls in a sock, or taped together. Stay away from your lower back & neck.

Thoracic Foam Roller

To make an appointment with one of our Exercise Physiology team to discuss your thoracic mobility book online, email reception@aspirefitnessrehab.com.au or call 07 3310 4969