Pilates after Breast Cancer Surgery: Regaining your Strength

Breast cancer surgery is a painful and arduous experience. It might leave you with a great deal of pain and anxiety. New information suggests that a participating in a gentle Pilates routine can help ease the discomfort of recovering from breast cancer procedures, as well as speed recovery.

Reasons to Start Exercising Again

It’s very likely that after all the stress and trauma of breast cancer surgery, all you really want to do is rest. But, the benefits of beginning a moderate exercise program can be far reaching. Pilates-based exercises can help regain strength, and ease discomfort in the affected arm and chest areas of your surgery. Exercise also helps control weight gain that might creep up with decreased physical activity. There is also a large beneficial component to your mental and spiritual health. Exercise following cancer procedures can decrease tension, improve sleep, and help build esteem and maintain general well being.

Combating Pain and Limited Range of Motion

The aftermath of mastectomies and lymph node dissection can involve a great deal of tissue damage to the chest, shoulder, and surrounding areas. Pain and swelling can limit your range of motion to the degree you cannot lift your arms to brush your hair or fasten your seatbelt. Pilates workouts can be tailored to accommodate and help repair this damage. The majority of Pilates exercises are performed while lying down, taking strain off back and neck muscles to allow more direct focus on the areas that need it. Pilates can also strengthen the shoulder girdle, an important step to regaining a suitable range of motion.

Pilates and Fatigue

It’s not just the stress of post-op recuperation that causes fatigue in a woman receiving cancer treatments. The ongoing treatments to battle the cancer after the surgery can be ever larger culprits. Chemotherapy, radiation and drug treatments can all add to wearing down your strength. Pilates can offer such a gentle introduction to regaining physical fitness that it will not add to tiredness. Exercises are done from reclined or sitting positions, are done slowly, and require a great deal of concentration. The most important thing in Pilates isn’t difficult positions or massive repetition, but utilizing correct form. Core muscles are slowly and gently strengthened, which will combat listlessness and fatigue.


A Pilates routine can be closely tailored to fit the needs of the person doing it. To do the exercises, your body can be positioned the way it feels most comfortable, whether it be standing, seated, prone, side-lying or supine. Props can be used, such as wedges, pillows or balls to help achieve desired positions. Moves can be modified and made less complicated to meet your abilities without detracting from the overall benefit. Most off all, these is a great deal of room to grown in a Pilates routine, allowing a moderate introduction to a routine that can be used to matter where you are in your healing process.

Even after undergoing an experience as challenging as breast cancer surgery, exercise remains an important component of maintaining your health. Pilates is a popular and gentle way to keep mind and body healthy while recovering, or even still combating, breast cancer.


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  • s k sethi

    Masectomy of left breast and removal of lymnodes has been done.Presently my wife is underging chemo which would be followed by rt.Please let me know we are on the right line of treatment.