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Head and neck cancer

A place for people affected by head and neck cancers, including oral, throat , larynx (voice box), salivary glands, middle ear, and sinus and nasopharyngeal cancer. Support one another, ask questions, and share experiences.

Physical recovery after mouth and neck surgery

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If anyone is recently  recovering from a partial glossotomy or neck dissection then they will be having a tough time starting the exercises as I did. I hated taking painkillers but pleased I persevered. I started with a physiotherapist in the UK and was offered exercises of 8 repetitions three times a day. I went to France for a couple of months and the physio there said "Come on I want you to do 100 repetitions twice a day." (do 10 then rest 10 seconds then another 10) It hurt. I installed a pulley in my house and did the arm raises vertically and to the side as well as shoulder crunches, scapula crunches and lifting weights laterally (stating with half a kilo or a can of soup). In two weeks my boyfriend shouted "Hey your shoulder muscle is filling up." I continued and started swimming breast stroke 400 metres a day.Was really tired at first and started with just a one length before building up. I am no spring chicken at 68 but I was worried after surgery the withered look of my muscles would be with me for life. My bicep kicked in at three months and it is now almost five months and the muscle behind my shoulder blade is stating to wake up. I have new exercises and do them religiously every morning.

So please be encouraged by this, it is so easy to give up because it hurts so much. I was so down at my diagnosis and thinking I would never get back to dancing jive and pilates, well this week I stated my routine of four classes a week.

Good luck to those just starting this journey.


Janet since May 1st cancer free hoping the demon will never return