Radiation induced fibrosis is a common side effect of radiation. What this means is that the skin, muscle and connective tissue that is intertwined in the muscle and around the arteries, veins and nerves can shorten and become stiff. As a result, flexibility of muscles and motion of joints can decrease. This can cause pain and limitations in your ability to perform daily tasks.
The good news is that Fibrosis can be prevented, lessened in intensity and/or managed with proper education and exercises.
We frequently find that persons diagnosed with breast cancer, lung cancer or lymphoma that are treated with radiation to the chest area have shortened tissues. 2-3 years after radiation is completed, they may suffer from shoulder and neck pain and dysfunction.
It is not uncommon for persons diagnosed with prostate, bladder, uterine or other pelvic cancers that are treated with radiation in the pelvic area to have low back and hip problems 3-4 years later because of the tightening of the tissues from radiation.
If education is provided and exercises are completed while having radiation, pain and stiffness can be reduced or eliminated, thus preventing any joint pain and dysfunction.
Have you already undergone radiation? Don't lose hope! It is also possible to stretch those tissues even after radiation is completed and regain motion to decrease pain and decrease dysfunction.
Call the Center for Survivorship today to schedule an appointment to prevent or treat muscle and connective tissue tightness.
Your quality of life depends on it!!