- Question from Allie: I have had a lot of trouble with my muscles and ligaments following treatment. I did exercise during treatment, but it seems as if the chemo settled in my muscles afterwards. I am swimming but find I am forever hurting a muscle. What can I do?
Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D.
The best way to reduce muscle pain is through a stretching program, and since you're having a lot of problems with muscle pain, perhaps a regular stretching program like yoga would be beneficial. Stretching has some very strong physiological effects. In addition to lengthening muscle, it helps it to use energy better, it helps to get rid of some of the toxins that can break down in muscle, and it's very relaxing and enjoyable.
Yoga is one of the best ways of doing stretching in a regular program. It can be intense or very calm and comforting, so following one of the more relaxing yoga programs would probably be best if you're having a lot of muscle pain. You can do yoga every day for short periods of time. You can either take a yoga class at a local gym or yoga studio, or get one of the many excellent yoga tapes available and do it in your home.
- Marisa C. Weiss, M.D. As you move through and beyond treatment, you need to push for peace of mind and try to create it for yourself. One deal you could make with yourself is to say that while you're exercising, you're going to keep your mind on peaceful thoughts and things that bring you pleasure. Promise yourself that during those sessions, you're going to hold yourself back from worry, burning questions, and nightmare scenarios. If you can keep this promise to yourself, exercise can become particularly enjoyable.
On Wednesday, May 21, 2003, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Taking Care of Yourself. Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about exercise and nutrition, and other things you can do to nurture your body, along with strategies for finding emotional support, boosting your mood, and feeling good again.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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