Rehabilitation :: Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Therapy for Cancer Patients
The physical therapists at CHOC Children’s work with oncology patients of all ages, and many therapy sessions can be done in the Hyundai Cancer Institute’s in-unit gym. The questions below are some of the most frequently asked about physical therapy as it relates to cancer diagnoses and treatments. The answers in this document should not replace the specific information provided by the patient’s therapists or doctors.
Does my child need physical therapy if they are on active chemotherapy?
By performing physical therapy during treatment, we can ensure that the child maintains their function and range of motion throughout their treatment. As with any treatment, accommodations are made depending on the child's energy level. Each patient’s lab work is closely monitored throughout treatment and physical therapy.
My child is already going through so much, why physical therapy now?
When patients undergo physical therapy while in treatment, they are better able to maintain their ankle, hip, knee and shoulder range of motion. Keeping up their range of motion means that when they are cleared for more vigorous activity, they will be strong enough to move and play.
Will my child be able to walk and play normally?
Each child's progress varies and depends upon the child’s diagnosis. Our physical therapists work to help the child move and play to the best of their ability. Each child is treated with compassion, innovation and creativity. We try our best to make each experience fun and functional so that the child is entertained as they either maintain or improve their ability to interact with the world.
Please speak with the child’s therapists, nurse coordinator or oncologist about any of your specific questions. Learn more about physical therapy during cancer treatment.