I have heard that swelling and pain will go away by itself. Do I still need physical therapy?
Your therapist can help remove fluid backup, improve fluid balance and optimize your range of motion and movement. Over time your swelling and pain may improve on its own, but you may never recover completely.
I am still undergoing cancer treatment. Is physical therapy appropriate at this time?
With clearance from your physician, physical therapy can be initiated as early as two weeks after surgery or reconstruction and during chemotherapy and radiation treatments. During this time, physical therapy can help improve healing and optimize muscle function.
I do not have cancer but have swelling and lymphedema. Can you treat me?
Yes. I am a physical therapist and a lymphedema therapist, and have treated patients with many different conditions not related to cancer.
Do I need a prescription from a doctor to begin therapy?
No. Dana Winrow Physical Therapy LLC has a direct access license which enables treatment for 30 days without a prescription.
I received cancer treatment many years ago – can physical therapy still help me?
Regardless of when you were treated for cancer, physical therapy can improve range of motion, scar tissue, strengthening, endurance, balance and pain, even many years after your initial surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and reconstruction.
What is oncology (cancer) physical therapy?
Oncology physical therapy is a specialized therapy that helps patients address the side effects of cancer treatment (including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and surgical reconstruction) to return patient function.
Why should I exercise during or after cancer treatments?
Some of the benefits of physical therapy and exercise include increased strength, fitness and endurance, reduced pain, while decreasing side effects of chemotherapy/radiation/surgery and prevention of recurrence. Research shows that patients who exercise during and after cancer treatment have a significantly decreased risk of cancer recurrence (Holmes, M.D. et al., 2005 Journal of the American Medical Association 293:2479-2486).
I am so tired as a result of my cancer treatment. What can I do?
Cancer related fatigue is a persistent tiredness related to cancer and cancer treatment and is the number one complaint of cancer patients. An oncology physical therapist can prescribe a treatment program that can help increase endurance and reduce fatigue.
What is lymphedema?
Lymphedema is a regional backup of protein-rich fluid in the body due to improper function of the lymphatic system. Lymphedema can present as a painful swelling of the arms, legs, chest, head, neck and genitals and other areas. It can be caused by secondary damage to the lymph system from surgery, trauma, infection or primary causes like genetic malformation.
Can lymphedema be prevented?
Lymphedema progresses through different stages of fluid disequilibrium. In early stages the fluid backup can be rebalanced and the progression reversed by a lymphedema therapist. In later stages the fluid accumulation can be reduced and managed but may not be completely reversed.
What are compression garments?
Compression garments are specialized garments used to add support to the body to improve the function of the lymphatic system. If a compression garment is needed for lymphedema therapy, they must be fitted by a specialist and used according to a prescribed wearing schedule.
Can I just come for a massage?
Yes! Dana is certified in manual lymphatic drainage techniques. It has been shown that regular lymphatic massage reduces protein backup and congestion, and can provide significant relief of symptoms.
How do you find a physical therapist that specializes in oncology therapy?
Although physical therapists can have a range of different skill sets, it is important to ask if a therapist has any specific oncology therapy training before beginning treatment. An oncology therapist will be trained to understand the stages of cancer and how the body’s systems can be affected by cancer, treatment side-effects and modifications. A therapist trained in lymphedema has CLT (Certified Lymphedema Training) credentials and may have LANA (Lymphedema Association of North America) certification indicating that they have completed dedicated coursework, practical assessments and passed the LANA exam.
Dana Winrow has practiced physical therapy for 16 years with over 10 years working oncology patients. She has CLT and LANA certifications, and has participated in and led numerous cancer physical therapy educational seminars.
How much does therapy cost?
Fees are dependent upon what services you request. Please call for a quote and to discuss your needs. A receipt will be provided to submit to your insurance company at the end of each session. Dana’s goal is to provide intense, individual, custom treatment to decrease the number of sessions needed and then if appropriate, to help find individualized exercise programs and community services for patients to continue self-management on their own. Dana also offers convenient appointment times.