Neck and shoulder function are highly dependent on proper posture. Once an individual undergoes a procedure on their breast tissue, the treatment and recovery from the condition can lead to tension along the chest and front of the shoulders. The thought of performing exercises to ease the pain is often not on the radar considering the impact that the breast surgery will have on their prognosis. The surgery along with chemotherapy or radiation will leave the person feeling fatigued, weak, and sometimes feeling ill. These feelings will lead to a posture that puts significant strain on the neck and shoulders. As a form of recreation, people will read books, surf social media, and watch movies.
These activities accentuate the rounded shoulders, forward head, and hunched over upper back. This leads to prolonged pressure and pain in the shoulders and neck. The more that the person tries to function, the more pain they experience. With some gentle exercises, the individual can improve the tissue quality of the muscles surrounding the neck and shoulders. This allows them to assume a proper posture that decreases pressure on the spine and shoulders. Attached to this blog are some simple exercises that when performed daily, can curb the pain and soreness that can develop following breast surgery. As with all exercise programs, please ask your physician when it’s appropriate to begin a gentle exercise program after surgery. If you are experiencing pain that is not alleviating with performing gentle exercises, you should ask your physician for a referral to be evaluated by a Physical Therapist.