4 Stretches To Reduce Pain Caused By Breast Cancer Treatment

Surgery and radiation can impact the length and elasticity of the skin, connective tissue, and muscles in the chest. If these tissues don’t move well due to scar tissue or loss of elasticity, it may cause discomfort and limit the mobility and range of motion around the rib cage and shoulders.

A great way to combat tightness and stiffness from radiation and/or surgery is through stretching. The sooner you start stretching after surgery and radiation the better, but it’s never too late to start. Either way, it’s important to keep in mind the relief won’t be instantaneous. The tissue shortening can continue over time, meaning it may take one to two years of stretching before it finally feels comfortable again.

How long to hold each stretch when you do start depends on individual comfort levels, as well as timing of your most recent surgery. Here’s a breakdown:

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