If you recently had to have your breast removed because of cancer or some other unforeseen event, you might be in the market for breast reconstruction surgery. During the reconstruction procedure, part of the latissimus dorsi muscle is slid into your chest where it can easily be shaped and formed into a natural-looking breast before being sewn into position.
Within three to four weeks after surgery, you can normally return to light activities. A physiotherapist will also provide you with exercises to help restore movement and strength to the muscle that was injured. Avoid lifting anything too heavy for a minimum of six weeks following the surgery. Before you ever begin any rehabilitation exercises, you want to get the clearance from your doctor. Stop right away if you notice any pain.
Basic Strengthening Exercises
When you first begin the whole rehabilitation process, you need to focus on exercises that improve your strength and promote the healing process. Using a door handle or table leg, loop one of the resistance bands around the object.
Grab onto both ends of the band. Beginning with your arms straight in front of you, bend your elbows and slowly bring your hands up to your waist. Press your shoulder blades together. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Returning to where you started by straightening out your arms. Aim for sets of 10 repetitions.
Stretch Your Shoulders
Doing gentle stretches for the shoulders and back can help to improve flexibility in your muscle. One of the best stretches is to place the arm that was injured on the wall, right above the height of your shoulders. Use your fingers to bring your hand higher and higher. All along the shoulder blade you will feel a slight stretch. Don’t go any further than you can without inflicting pain. Slowly increase how high you take your hand as you improve your flexibility.
Improving Your Range of Movement
To help improve shoulder and back mobility, stand alongside a table. Position the arm that isn’t injured on the table to help support yourself. Bend over enough to where the arm that is injured hangs down. Swing the arm back and forth gently 10 times. Continue the movement, switching to side to side. Do some arm circles both forward and backward, beginning with small movements. You want to slowly increase the size of the circles as movement improves.
Advanced Strengthening Exercises
Don’t do these exercises unless you are able to handle the basic strengthening exercises without complications. Using a light weight and exercise ball, place the ball underneath your shoulder blades. With your feet on the floor, bend your knees. Holding the weights in both hands, raise them out in front of your body.
Lower them back down slowly. Don’t go any further than you can without inflicting pain. Bring your arms back to where you started. Do this for 10 repetitions. Continue working your way up to three sets. Maintain the position of the ball and your back throughout this exercise.