Beginning Again After Mastectomy or Reconstructive Surgery

Gentle Exercises for After Breast Surgery

After breast surgery, a patient’s range of arm and shoulder movement is often drastically reduced. It becomes hard to do anything as your morale and confidence wane alongside your physical activity.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of – many women have trouble staying active while recovering. Wigs ‘n More is here to assure you, it’s never too late to improve your mobility, flexibility, and functionality. Below, we’ve provided some exercises which vary in levels of difficulty but are part of a widely used exercise program for after breast surgery. Start slowly and gradually increase the number of repetitions. Check with your medical team before starting and get on track for a healthier, more active lifestyle!

1. Toweling

Hold a scarf or towel stretched diagonally along the back, one hand at shoulder level and the other at hip level. Imitate a back drying motion, moving the hand from shoulder to head and lower. Change hands and repeat in reverse so that the other arm is higher. The towel should be long enough to fully straighten one arm.

2. Door Pulley

This exercise helps to improve forward motion in the shoulder. Hang a rope or cord over the top of an open door. Sit on the floor with the door held firmly between the legs, holding the lower end of the cord in the hand on the side of your surgery. Hold the higher end in the other hand. Gently pull the higher hand down and raise the lower arm, repeating gradually and raising a little higher each time until full stretch has been achieved.

3. Wall Climbing

This exercise helps to improve forward motion in the shoulder. Stand close to a wall – face the wall with your feet apart for balance. Place hands flat against the wall close to shoulder level and gradually try to raise hands higher up the wall. Slowly, bring the hands back to shoulder level and repeat. Mark the wall at the highest point reached each day. Sometimes it may be hard to reach the previous day’s mark – don’t be discouraged, simply try again later in the day!

4. Hand Squeezing

This exercise helps to prevent or reduce temporary swelling in the arm. Take a small rubber ball or similar object in the palm of your hand and make a fist around the ball. Squeeze gently and relax. The ball should be firm enough to have to exert some pressure but soft enough to give a little when squeezed.

Call Wigs ‘n More Today

Don’t forget – the caring and compassionate team at Wigs ‘n More gains more and more experience with the effects of cancer, mastectomies, lumpectomies, and reconstructive surgeries every day. Call us at 724-532-1901, Contact Us online, or stop into our Latrobe, PA location any time for great tips, wigs, mastectomy supplies, and more!

Return to Top